Once more unto the breach, dear friends. (Well, more like twice more, because my first draft was eaten by an unruly text editor.) This is more of a recap than a preview, as I only just recovered from an awful cold. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: December 13, 2018 City Council
The Cheat Sheet: November 2017 City Council
Since the last regular Council meeting, Council narrowly voted to appoint a Tory supporter to replace late councillor Pam McConnell; Waterfront Toronto announced its partnership with Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs; and City Manager Peter Wallace frankly discussed Toronto’s possible futures in an annual address.
On this meeting’s agenda: the Bloor bike lanes; a Parks and Rec master plan; Metrolinx fare integration; the George Street Revitalization; and more.
Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: November 2017 City Council
Let’s Read: Toronto’s Long-Term Financial Direction
For years, the City of Toronto has been deliberately taking in less revenue while expanding infrastructure and services. Forget the “efficiency” bullshit—this has largely been made possible through unsustainable and unreliable funding sources. In this new report, top City bureaucrats warn City Council that they can’t postpone tough decisions any more.
Here’s the full report. It’s like 40 pages. Are you gonna read it? Hell, no! So here’s the gist.
Continue reading Let’s Read: Toronto’s Long-Term Financial Direction
The Cheat Sheet: May 5 City Council
Just in time for my 30th birthday, I’m getting the best present ever: a City Council meeting! This month’s agenda is jam-packed with important items, so fix yourself a drink while you read this. Up for discussion: funding the Scarborough subway, diversity on the TTC board, a new City Manager, the social housing waitlist, (not) fixing basement flooding, and more. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: May 5 City Council
The Cheat Sheet: Committee Meetings, Feb. 23-27
Wall-to-wall committee meetings this week! Following committee meetings is a great way to “preview” items before they go to City Council — and, if you want, voice your opinions. Also, petty drama is 100% guaranteed. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: Committee Meetings, Feb. 23-27
2015: Threat or Menace?
Warning, serious wonkery ahead.
So I was a tad alarmed to see, in last month’s council agenda, this operating budget variance report projecting a year-end deficit of $1.783 million. And I’ve also been going back to David Hains’s look at the formidable 2015 budget gap and wondering if there’s anything to it. Basically, I’m wondering 1) how much of a mess will the next mayor inherit?, and 2) do they even know?
Re: Gary Webster
I’m writing to encourage you not to fire Gary Webster. It would mean paying out an enormous severance package (about $500,000) just to intimidate City workers and to further politicize the civil service. Webster is bound by professional honesty to serve the Mayor by advising him on the facts as they are and not how we would like them to be. Further, his duty is not only to the Mayor, but to all of us—so he must act in the public interest whether or not that aligns with Ford’s mandate.
Firing people because they can’t honestly agree with you is irresponsible from both a financial and an ethical perspective. Please do the right thing.