Centre For Local Research into Public Space (CELOS)

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Citizen-Z Cavan Young's 2004 film about the zamboni crisis





City budget and cost savings
A) Capital projects and State-of-Good-Repair

1) Cut the $88 M waterfront arena

2) freeze all budgeting for routine replacement of city amenities (under “State of Good Repair” until council has considered the existing evidence of unnecessary city spending and replacement.

Therefore, suggested direction by Council that city staff are to:

- Publish and revisit all priority list for on-going repairs and necessary improvements of existing public amenities

- identify any laws that require replacement of amenities, together with legal opinions

- identify the hard data behind any stated liability concerns which require the replacement of amenities

- identify and seek comments on the priorities of neighbourhood residents with respect to the care of, and proposed replacement of, public amenities

B) Operating costs

1) Training costs: most current staff training (new and in-service) is expensive and of questionable use.

Suggested direction by Council to direct staff to freeze all new staff training for parks and recreation staff and temporarily substitute on-the-job training and supervision at parks and public amenities that work well.

Suggested direction by Council to direct staff to summarize current training objectives (no more than ten specific points each, for new staff and in-service training). Staff to publish these objectives on the city website, accompanied by campaign to ask city frontline staff and citizens to comment and tell their experiences with specific training sessions (i.e. “hard data”).

Suggested direction by Council to direct staff to report on the current cost (including work hours/days missed by staff attending training) of new-staff and in-service training. Cut the amount to 25% and assign a working group - composed of councillors, involved citizens and staff - to develop new training sessions to correspond to (a) comments and proposals (b) legislative requirements. Specify evaluation after one year.

2) City bureaucracy and rule-making

Suggested direction by Council to direct city staff to place a moratorium on all policy-making unless policy is:

- legally required, 

- supported by hard data evidencing serious existing liability, or

- directed by one of the city Accountability officers (Ombud, Auditor, Ethics or Integrity Commissioner, of Lobbying Registrar)

C) Citizen democracy

Ask city front-line staff and citizens to propose simple alternatives to cut costs, post on city website with “comment” capability 

Content last modified on October 09, 2010, at 08:34 PM EST