city hall

Streamlining & Modernizing City Services

Over the years I’ve heard from residents who want to see City Hall get its house in order – and that means ensuring that the city is not duplicating work currently performed by other levels of government.

That’s why, during this year’s budget debate, I moved a motion requesting that the City Manager conduct a review of the overlapping of services currently provided by the city.

I’m also pleased to let you know that the city is embarking on a much-needed plan to modernize city operations, increase efficiency and generate millions of dollars in savings. The plan includes:

  • Offering more online services and streamlining the city’s service counters
  • Maximizing city office space to increase productivity and engagement
  • Reviewing the city’s current real estate holdings

Toronto’s financial envelope is limited, which is why we always need to be on the lookout for alternative ways to conduct our business more efficiently and effectively.

Ward Boundary Review

The Toronto Ward Boundary Review released its Options Report this past summer. The report outlines five options for redrawing the city’s existing ward boundaries.

The alternatives range from increasing or decreasing the number of wards to maintaining the current number of wards but adjusting their boundaries.

The next stage of the review process is to collect public feedback on the various options.

The month of September saw three public consultation meetings in North York. Public consultations in other parts of Toronto are underway and will conclude in later this fall.

The final report on ward boundaries is due to head to City Council in spring 2016.

You can give your feedback on the five options for ward boundaries by filling out this survey!

For updates on the Ward Boundary Review, follow @drawthelinesTO on Twitter!

City Hall Update

As you have no doubt heard, last night Mayor Rob Ford issued a statement explaining that he will be taking a leave of absence.

Earlier today, the City Clerk issued a memorandum to members of City Council advising that, as a result of the leave of absence, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly will assume the power and duties of the Mayor. You can find a copy below.

The good news is that the Deputy Mayor and City Council have been hard at work shifting the spotlight back onto city business, and I will continue to work closely with the Deputy Mayor to advance the city’s agenda.

As many of you know, I called on the mayor to step aside more than 10 months ago.

It wasn’t an easy position to take.

Trust, honesty and integrity are the foundation of public office. You don’t deserve an office you don’t respect, and the mayor has shown time and again that he doesn’t respect the office or the city.

At this point, anything less than a full and complete resignation is too little, too late.

Toronto’s a great city and deserves nothing less than a great mayor. We need strong, decisive, substantive leadership to take our city to the next level, to ensure our continued prosperity and success.

Bedford Park Public School Visit to City Hall

I was very pleased to welcome three grade five classes from Bedford Park Public School to City Hall in November!

It’s a great opportunity to give students a front row seat in the Council Chamber and get them engaged in our great city at an early age.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to arrange a class visit to City Hall or if you’d like me to visit your school.

Development Charges

Revisions to the city’s development charge by-law came before City Council this month.

I am a long standing supporter of increased development charges to ensure that growth pays for growth. Council approved a rate increase of 71% for residential developments with a two year phase in period.

Unfortunately, the increase is 8% lower than the increase originally recommended by city staff, which I would have preferred.

During the debate, I attempted to swing Council back to the original, higher rate. I also supported a motion to immediately implement the increases – we’ve waited too long as it is. While these motions were unsuccessful, we did fend off an attempt to defer the item.

The increases to the current rates are expected to bring in $170-$250 million in additional annual revenue.