October 21, 2014
Kathleen Reil, Former Chair, City of Toronto Residual Waste Working Group
Peggy Moulder, Candidate for City Council, Ward 6
Your Question: What will you do to improve citizen collaboration in decision making processes at City Hall?
The answer, very simply, is the creation of Community Districts and Community Boards by legislation under the Toronto Municipal Code. Until public consultation is dictated and regulated by law, public input will continue to be treated as something relatively unimportant, and will not be able to compete with all the pressures from other existing special interest groups, which meet on a regular basis with City staff and politicians at Toronto City Hall.
In order to manage their very large city, and include democratic participation by their citizen residents, New York City found it necessary to create Community Districts and Community Boards more than 40 years ago. This provides a competent and functioning model on which I have drafted similar legislation for Toronto. The creation of Toronto community districts and community boards will save us money, time and provide open, transparent and accountable government. The former Chief Planner for Toronto, Paul Bedford, has been promoting this type of management for Toronto since 2009.
Attached is a copy of a letter written to the Editor of the Toronto Star (see Blog October 19, 2014). You will find further information and the draft legislation on my website, along with a You Tube video: Introduction to Toronto Community Boards.
The solution is simple. But it will only be done when citizens tell Toronto City Hall that they want the legislation, which will require fewer City Councillors and 50-member Community Boards throughout the City. Until that time, no one at City Hall will be willing to propose this real transfer of political power from City Hall to citizens and their communities.
Thank you for your question.