Listening to people by shutting down citizen committees

At the mayor’s request, the city manager has compiled a list of eleven citizen advisory committees to be eliminated for this council term. This will be debated at the next executive committee meeting before it goes to council for approval.

This will save no money. The manager’s report is clear that there are “no financial implications” to the move . In an interview with the Toronto Star’s Amy Dempsey and Paul Moloney, Doug Holyday justified shutting down these groups by saying it will save staff time.

At Spacing, Dylan Reid, co-chair of the Toronto Pedestrian Committee — one of the groups pegged for elimination by the report — tells us why this is a bad idea:

Citizens spent a lot of time and effort getting these committees established in the first place, and have spent a ton of time and effort making them work. Many survived amalgamation and successive mayoral regimes. It is a huge waste to simply cast away that accumulated work without thought.

Toronto’s tradition of active citizenship is one of its key assets. It makes sense to harness that resource, not ignore it.

via City seeks to eliminate citizens’ advisory committees « Spacing Toronto.

This move simply does not gel with the mayor’s promise to be responsive and attentive to the needs of citizens. (Or, in his vernacular, ‘taxpayers.’) This administration continues to express a growing antipathy toward Toronto residents who are passionate enough about issues that they organize and involve themselves in the political process.

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