Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: Joe Pantalone: community councils should have more control over local spending decisions

The Daily Plank: Fund community councils, says Pantalone - thestar.com
Joe Pantalone would give greater control over local spending decisions to the four community councils.
If elected mayor on Oct. 25, Pantalone would free up $85 million for the community councils, which meet monthly to discuss development proposals, traffic issues and other local concerns.

The community councils — for Toronto and East York; North York, Etobicoke-York; and Scarborough — are made upof city councillors from those areas.

The community councils make recommendations to city council but they have no budget themselves, something Pantalone would change.

Of the $85 million Pantalone would make available, $10 million would go to improving commercial streetscapes; $30 million for parks; $40 million for community centres
and $5.5 million for snow clearing.

In a news conference at Yonge and Eglinton — the geographic centre of the city — Pantalone said the newfunding model would be implemented in 2012 after spending 2011 to work out any bugs.

The community councils would be able to advocate for more money by applying to council’s budget committee, he said.

And spending decisions of a community council could only be overturned by a two-thirds majority of the city council.

The move, he said, is designed to “strengthen local decision-making and control.”

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