Toronto Service Review Will Determine Whether East End Toronto Gains or Loses Public Services
Riverdale, The Beaches, Leslieville and Danforth Village are known for their safe neighbourhoods, parks, schools, the waterfront, and well-supported infrastructure. But the Toronto Services Review is looking at 'rebalancing' how and where public dollars are spent. If you want to ensure that we keep our pools and community centres open, you'll need to speak up.
Why the Toronto Service Review Should Be a Good Idea
The premise is simple. 50,000 residents collaborating to solve a local problem will usually come up with better solutions than 10 or 20 bureaucrats doing it on their own. But how do you connect all 50,000 residents of East End Toronto to the people responsible for dealing with our municipal problems? And would they listen to us if we could reach them?
That process has already started. Right now the City of Toronto has opened a website called The Toronto Service Review. (what a terrible title!) Initially, it's seeking input from residents about what services are (and are NOT) important to their communities and their quality of life - and what's the best way to pay for these services. The objective is to bridge the $774 million budget shortfall and avoid raising property taxes.
When you log on and complete the anonymous online survey, you will influence how money is spent in your community, how services will be delivered and eventually the quantity and quality of services. I'm talking about funding for parks, community centres, local sports for kids and so on. Whether you live in The Beaches, Riverdale, Leslieville or Danforth Village - if you love the community features that make your neighbourhood great, you need to speak up to keep them!
We're all competing for the same community services dollar. If you don't speak up, the louder voices will get the funding and our services will be eroded year over year. I'd hate to see our local community center shut down to pay for 'concierge' services in Rosedale.
Take the Survey
This public services review is really just the beginning of web-based public involvement in municipal government. In another post I'll tell you about the "Open Data Project" www.toronto.ca/open and what it will mean to you over the next few years.