Transcript: Assessing Toronto's Smaller City Council | Apr 08, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and spotted brown tie.

A caption on screen reads "Assessing Toronto's smaller city council. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IT MAY NOT EXACTLY BE TOP OF
MIND FOR YOU THAT SIX MONTHS AGO
MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS TOOK PLACE
ACROSS ONTARIO.
BUT IN ONE PLACE - THE
PROVINCIAL CAPITAL - THAT RACE
WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A SIGNIFICANT
CHANGE THAT'S NOW PLAYING OUT IN
THE DAY TO DAY POLITICS OF THE
CITY.
WITH NO WARNING OR CONSULTATION...
AND EVEN WITH A WILLINGNESS
TO USE THE CONSTITUTION'S
NOT-WITHSTANDING CLAUSE... THE
NEW PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT ALMOST
CUT IN HALF THE NUMBER OF
SITTING COUNCILLORS.
THEY SAID IT WOULD SAVE MONEY
AND IMPROVE GOVERNANCE.
HAS IT?
LET'S FIND OUT AS WE ASK SHELLEY
CARROLL, TORONTO CITY COUNCILLOR
FOR WARD 17, DON VALLEY NORTH...

Shelley is in her fifties, with blond hair in a short bob. She's wearing glasses, a gray blazer and a patterned white blouse.

Steve continues STEPHEN HOLYDAY, TORONTO CITY
COUNCILLOR FOR WARD 2, ETOBICOKE CENTRE...

Stephen Holyday is in his late forties, clean-shaven and balding. He's wearing a light gray suit, white shirt, and blue plaid tie.

Steve continues AND GABRIEL EIDELMAN,
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, MUNK SCHOOL
OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC
POLICY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO.

Gabriel is in his early forties, bald, with a stubble. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit and a white shirt.

Steve continues AND WE ARE HAPPY TO HAVE YOU BACK I THINK FOR THE SECOND TIME?

Gabriel says YES.

Steve says COUNCILLOR FOR THE FIRST TIME?

Stephen Holyday says YES.

Steve says YES, INDEED.
WELCOME HERE.
SHELLEY, YOU ARE HERE AGAIN.

Shelley says YOU BET.

Steve says WE CONVENED A BIT OF A
DISCUSSION ABOUT THIS ISSUE BACK
IN SEPTEMBER BEFORE THE ELECTION
TOOK PLACE.
WE WANT TO PLAY ABOUT A MINUTE'S
EXCERPT FROM THAT PROGRAM JUST
TO SET UP THE DISCUSSION THAT
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE HERE, OKAY?
SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD, THE CLIP, PLEASE.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "September 17, 2018. Mark Towhey."
In the clip, Mark talks in the studio. He's in his late fifties, balding, with a stubble.

He says I THINK WHAT DOUG LEARNED
WORKING ON COUNCIL WAS THAT
COUNCIL DOESN'T WORK.

A female voice says RIGHT.

Mark says says AND IT DOESN'T.
AND IT'S NOT ABOUT THE PEOPLE ON
COUNCIL, IT'S NOT.
IT'S ABOUT THE STRUCTURE OF
COUNCIL.
IT'S ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY
ARE ALL EQUAL, THAT IN THE MIDST
OF A DEBATE ON SUBWAYS, SOMEONE
CAN STAND UP AND MOVE A MOTION
TO BAN PLASTIC BAGS AND THE
WHOLE COUNCIL GETS SIDETRACKED
ON A RABBIT HOLE.
THAT SHOULDN'T BE POSSIBLE.
THEY HAVE A COMMITTEE STRUCTURE.
THAT DOESN'T DO ANYTHING BECAUSE
YOU CAN VOTE ONE WAY AT
COMMITTEE AND THEN VOTE THE
OPPOSITE WAY AT COUNCIL.
EVERYTHING IS RE-LITIGATED AGAIN
AT COUNCIL.
WHY HAVE A COMMITTEE STRUCTURE THEN?

The caption changes to "Tricia Woods."

Tricia, in her late forties, with long gray hair, says
THESE ARE THE KINDS OF ISSUES
THAT HAVE BEEN RAISED IN
DEMONSTRATIONS OF TORONTO'S
INEFFECTIVENESS AS A COUNCIL,
AND I'M TELLING YOU THAT THERE
ARE SMALLER COUNCILS IN THIS
PROVINCE THAT HAVE STRUGGLED AND
FALLEN APART AND THE SAME
DIVISIVENESS WITH EIGHT AND 10
COUNCILLORS.
YOU CAN SHRINK IT TO 25, BUT
THERE'S NO EVIDENCE THAT THAT'S
GOING TO MAKE IT MORE EFFECTIVE
OR LESS DYSFUNCTIONAL.
I WOULD DISPUTE THAT IT'S
DYSFUNCTIONAL IN THE FIRST
PLACE.
THERE ARE DECISIONS ON CITY
COUNCIL, BUT IT DOESN'T PREVENT
THEM FROM MAKING DECISIONS AND
THE DECISIONS DON'T ALWAYS GO
THE SAME WAY.

The clip ends.

Steve says PART OF THE IDEA ON
HAVING A SMALLER COUNCIL WAS
THAT IT WOULD MAKE DECISIONS
MORE EFFICIENTLY.
DO YOU?

The caption changes to "Shelley Carroll. Toronto City Councillor."
Then, it changes again to "The truth about 25."

Shelley says WELL, IT MAKES DECISIONS MORE
QUICKLY, BUT WHETHER OR NOT THEY
ARE MORE EFFICIENT AND WHETHER
OR NOT THEY ARE THE BEST
DECISIONS, THAT HASN'T CHANGED.
WE CAN STILL GO AWRY IN THE
MIDDLE OF A DISCUSSION.
WE HAVE PROCEDURAL RULES TO
GUIDE US AWAY FROM MAKING THOSE
KINDS OF MISTAKES, BUT I'LL GIVE
YOU A QUICK EXAMPLE.
WE MADE A DECISION ON SECOND
SUITES JUST IN THE MOST RECENT
COUNCIL SESSION.

Steve says YOU MIGHT WANT TO
EXPLAIN WHAT THOSE ARE.

Shelley says BUILDING A SECOND SUITE INTO
A SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING IS
SOMETHING THAT CAN HAPPEN
ANYWHERE IN THE CITY, AND ONCE
AGAIN THE HISTORICAL DOWNTOWN
VERSUS HOW THIS WILL PLAY OUT IN
THE SUBURBS DIVIDES US, AND SOME
THINGS LIKE THAT IN COUNCIL'S
CULTURE CAN'T BE ERADICATED BY
CHANGING THE NUMBER.
THERE ARE LOTS MORE THINGS THAT
WE NEED TO DO TO THE CULTURE OF
THE CITY TO MAKE THE CHANGES
THAT FIX THAT.

Steve says STEPHEN, WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON IT?

The caption changes to "Stephen Holyday. Toronto City Councillor."

Stephen Holyday says WELL, IT DEPENDS ON WHOSE
SHOES YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.
IF IT'S MY SHOES, I THINK IT IS
MUCH BETTER, BUT I WANT TO LOOK
AT THE CITIZENS' SHOES.
AND THIS EXAMPLE IS COMMUNITY
COUNCIL, THAT'S AN IMPORTANT
PLACE WHERE CITIZENS GO AND
INTERACT WITH THEIR GOVERNMENT.
WE RELY ON CITIZENS INPUT TO
MAKE DECISIONS.
WHEN YOU HAVE A COMMUNITY
COUNCIL THAT RUNS FOR THREE OR
FOUR HOURS INSTEAD OF ALL DAY
WHERE VISITORS OR SPEAKERS HAVE
TO SIT THROUGH SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT
HOURS OF DEPUTATIONS BEFORE IT'S
THEIR TURN TO SPEAK, THEY GET A
CHANCE TO GET RIGHT UP TO THE
PODIUM AND SPEAK TO US DIRECTLY
AS COUNCILLORS, AND THEN WE CAN
ACT DECISIVELY ON THOSE
DECISIONS WITH A SMALLER
COMMUNITY COUNCIL, SO I THINK IT
IS MAKING BETTER DECISIONS
BECAUSE WE HAVE BETTER PUBLIC
INPUT.

Steve says WHAT'S YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "Gabriel Eidelman. Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy."

Gabriel says SO I THINK IN TERMS OF SPEED
AND EFFICIENCY, JUST BACK OF THE
NAPKIN CALCULATIONS THIS
MORNING, YOU'VE SPENT LESS TIME.
THESE ARE FRESH FACES YOU'RE
SEEING BECAUSE YOU'VE SPENT 20
FEWER HOURS AT FULL CITY COUNCIL
THAN AT THIS TIME LAST TERM.

Steve says DOES THAT MAKE IT BETTER?

Gabriel says NOT NECESSARILY.
I THINK I'D HAVE TO AGREE WITH
COUNCILLOR SHELLEY CARROLL IN
THAT WE HAVE NOTHING TO GO ON IN
TERMS OF DECIDING WHETHER IT'S
BETTER OR WORSE.
WHAT ARE OUR CRITERIA?
ARE WE MAKING MORE INFORMED
DECISIONS?
I'M NOT SURE.
THE SAME REPORTS ARE COMING TO
COUNCILLORS.
THERE'S NOT MUCH TIME TO READ
THOSE REPORTS.
JUST A FEW DAYS AGO WE HAD A NEW
REPORT ON TRANSIT, HUNDREDS OF
PAGES TO GO THROUGH.
WILL THE DECISION AFTER READING
THOSE REPORTS BE BETTER
INFORMED?
UNCLEAR.
WHAT ARE WE DOING THIS IF HE
REMEMBERS OF PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT?
COMMUNITY COUNCIL I'M SURE IS
ONE THING WE'LL BRING UP AGAIN.
IN TERMS OF PROVIDING
OPPORTUNITIES FOR RESIDENTS AND
CITIZENS TO ACTUALLY FEEL LIKE
THEY HAVE A SAY IN WHAT'S GOING
ON IN THE DECISIONS BEING MADE,
CHANGING THE NUMBER OF
COUNCILLORS ON THE FULL CITY
COUNCIL DOESN'T CHANGE HOW THE
CITY ACTUALLY ENGAGES WITH THE
CITIZENS.
IT'S UNCLEAR WHETHER IT'S BETTER.

Steve says SHELLEY, ONE THING I
HAVE HEARD IS THAT WHEN THERE
WERE 47 COUNCILLORS IN THE PAST,
YOU KNOW, OFTEN TIMES IT ALL GOT
SAID IN THE FIRST FEW SPEAKERS,
BUT YET EVERY POLITICIAN WANTED
TO GET UP AND BLOW V8 AND SAY
THE SAME DARN THING OVER AND
OVER AGAIN JUST TO GET ON THE
RECORD OR BE ON TV OR WHATEVER.
IS THERE LESS BLOVIATING NOW?

The caption changes to "Shelley Carroll, @shelleycarroll."

Shelley says I DON'T THINK WE'VE PUT THAT
TO THE TEST.
WE HAVEN'T HAD SOME OF THE
CHALLENGING REPORTS.
IN A NEW TERM, IT TAKES STAFF A
FEW MONTHS TO START TO LOAD THE
REALLY DIFFICULT DECISIONS THAT
WE NEED TO MAKE INTO THE HOPPER.
WE HAVEN'T REALLY PUT THAT TO
THE TEST.
BUT I'LL PUT YOU TO... I'LL HAVE
YOU THINK ABOUT OTHER CITIES.
WHEN WE HAVE A ONE-SIDED
CONVERSATION, A COMMUNITY CAN
COME AND SPEAK TO US, BUT THEY
CAN NEVER QUESTION US.
WHEN WE GET INTO THE COUNCIL
CHAMBER, WE GET A BRIEF PERIOD
TO QUESTION THE STAFF, BUT THEN
EVERY COUNCILLOR, HOWEVER MANY
THEY ARE, FEELS THEY HAVE TO NOW
SEEK BACK TO THE COMMUNITY,
HERE'S WHAT I'M THINKING AND WHY
I'M ABOUT TO VOTE THE WAY I'M
SUPPOSED TO VOTE.
SO THE REALLY MEANINGFUL CHANGES
WE NEED TO MAKE TO COUNCIL ARE
HAPPENING IN PLACES LIKE
MONTREAL.
THEY HAVE COMMUNITY QUESTION
PERIOD IN COMMITTEES AND IN
THEIR COUNCIL SESSIONS.
THERE'S A PERIOD SET ASIDE WHERE
A MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY CAN
COME AND SAY: I HAVE THIS
FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION FOR YOU
REGARDING THIS ISSUE.

Steve says YOU CAN COME AND ASK A
QUESTION OF A COUNCILLOR AT A
COMMITTEE OR CITY COUNCIL MEETING?

Shelley says AND THEY ARE FINDING THAT
REALLY HOLDS PEOPLE TO ACCOUNT,
AND THOSE WHO REALLY DON'T WANT
TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION HOLD
BACK, AND YOU START TO SEE, YOU
KNOW, AN OPINION FORMING RIGHT
THERE IN THE ROOM THAT REALLY
INCLUDES THE COMMUNITY.
THOSE ARE THE TYPES OF THINGS
THAT WOULD ADDRESS REAL ACCESS
TO GOVERNMENT AND WOULD ADDRESS
PROPER REPRESENTATION THAT WE
HAVEN'T YET TOUCHED ON.

Steve says OKAY.
CAN I GET YOU, STEPHEN, ON
WHETHER YOU THINK THERE ARE
FEWER OF THOSE ANNOYING SPEECHES
THAT DRONE ON AND ON AND ON TO
NO PARTICULAR PURPOSE?

The caption changes to "Stephen Holyday, @stephenholyday."

Stephen Holyday says WELL, BLOVIATED IS A NICE WORD.
I'M SURE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
THAT MAY HAVE SEEN COUNCIL WOULD
USE HARSHER WORDS, BUT THERE'S
AN OLD SAYING, YOU KNOW.
IDLE HANDS MAKE THE DEVIL'S
WORK, AND WHEN AS A COUNCILLOR
YOU SIT IN THOSE SESSIONS AND
YOU SEE THINGS GO ON AND ON AND
ON, AND THE SAME POINTS GET
REPEATED, AND THERE ISN'T NEW
IDEAS, PEOPLE TEND TO STRAY OFF
ON TO TANGENTS AND GET US INTO
TROUBLE.
ONE OF THE OBSERVATIONS I'VE
MADE OF COUNCIL IS WE SEEM TO BE
SPENDING MORE TIME MAYBE
FIGHTING WITH ANOTHER LEVEL OF
GOVERNMENT, SUCH AS THE
PROVINCE.
NOW WHETHER THAT HAS TO DO WITH
THE POLITICS OF THE DAY AND THE
SENTIMENT OF COUNCIL AND THE
POLITICS OF THAT LEVEL OF
GOVERNMENT, THERE IS MORE TIME
FOR COUNCILLORS TO DIVE INTO
THOSE AREAS OF FOCUS, AND IT
BEGINS TO STRAY AWAY FROM THE
CORE BUSINESSES AND THE CORE
DECISIONS THAT WE NEED TO BE
KEEPING OUR EYES ON AS A CITY.

Steve says OKAY.
ONE OF THE CORE BUSINESSES YOU
HAVE AS AN ELECTED PERSON IS YOU
HAVE TO ATTEND TO THE NEEDS OF
OUR CONSTITUENTS.

Stephen Holyday says AGREED.

Steve says IN THE OLD SYSTEM,
WHERE THERE WERE 47 OF YOU, HOW
MANY CONSTITUENTS ROUGHLY DID
YOU HAVE IN YOUR AREA?

Stephen Holyday says APPROXIMATELY 60,000.

Steve says HOW MANY HAVE YOU GOT NOW?

Stephen Holyday says ABOUT DOUBLE THAT, 120,000.

Steve says HOW HAS THAT CHANGED
WHAT YOU CAN DO?

Stephen Holyday says WELL, I'VE GIVEN A LOT OF THOUGHT TO THIS, AND THE BEST
EXAMPLE I COULD USE IS THE
RECENT SNOWSTORMS IN TORONTO.
THEY SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE
AS A SUBURBAN COUNCILLOR, YOU
KNOW, I GET A LOT OF CALLS AFTER
A SNOW EVENT.
PEOPLE ARE NATURALLY CONCERNED
WITH THEIR ROADS BEING PLOWED,
THEIR DRIVEWAYS BEING CLEARED.
YOU KNOW, IN A PREVIOUS STORM WE
MIGHT HAVE HAD 10 OR 15 CALLS.
NOW WE MIGHT HAVE 20 OR 30
CALLS.
I'VE GOT SOME GREAT PEOPLE ON
STAFF, AND IN FACT I'VE ADDED TO
MY STAFF TO BE ABLE TO DO THOSE
TYPE OF CONSTITUENCY SERVICES,
BUT I'VE ALWAYS ARGUED THE
NEIGHBOURHOOD ON ONE SIDE OF
KIPLING IS THE SAME AS IT IS ON
THE OTHER, AND WE KNOW HOW TO
HANDLE THOSE CALLS WELL.
SO THERE IS AN ECONOMY OF SCALE.
WE'RE ABLE TO CONTINUE TO ACT
EFFICIENTLY TO TAKE THOSE CALLS,
SO I WOULD ARGUE BACK THAT
CUSTOMER SERVICE HASN'T GONE
DOWN.
WE ARE GOOD AT WHAT WE DO IN THE
OFFICE, IN MY OPINION.

Steve says OKAY.

Stephen Holyday says AND WE HANDLE THOSE THINGS AS
THEY COME UP.

Steve says YOUR CONSTITUENTS HAVE
DOUBLED IN SIZE AS WELL, I PRESUME?

Shelley says JUST ABOUT.
I HAD ABOUT 70,000, AND I'M AT
120 AS WELL.
WE WERE AT 44 COUNCILLORS.
A LONG PROCESS RECOMMENDED 47 TO
ACCOUNT FOR SOME OF THE
ADDITIONAL POPULATION.

Steve says YOU'RE RIGHT.
I ADDED IT.
IT WASN'T THERE.
YOU'RE RIGHT.

Shelley says BUT HERE'S THE CHALLENGE THAT
WE FACE.
I WOULD ARGUE WITH RESPECT TO
STEPHEN'S STATEMENT THAT THE
NEIGHBOURHOODS ARE THE SAME ON
EITHER SIDE OF THE STREETS.
WHAT EACH OF US IS DEALING NOW
ARE THE UNIQUE NATURES OF EACH
OF THE NEW NEIGHBOURHOODS.
SO FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE, IT'S
ALMOST AS IF THERE ARE 25 NEW
COUNCILLORS, BECAUSE EACH OF US
HAS NEW TERRITORY.
NEW THINGS LOOKED AT AND
ADDRESSED, AND SO WE'RE PUTTING
A LOT OF PRESSURE ON THE PUBLIC
SERVICE RIGHT NOW.
THAT WILL ADJUST OVER TIME.

Steve says CAN YOU KEEP UP WITH
THE WORKLOAD, THOUGH?

Shelley says WELL, I HAVE MOST OF THE
SHEPPARD SUBWAY ALL IN ONE WARD
NOW, SAVE AND EXCEPT THE YONGE
STREET STATION, AND SO THERE'S
HUGE GROWTH, HUGE DEVELOPMENT
CONSIDERATION, AND
REPRESENTATION AND ACCESS TO
GOVERNMENT REALLY COMES INTO THE
FORE IN THOSE DISCUSSIONS.
GETTING OUT AND ENGAGING
EVERYONE WHO NEEDS TO BE
ENGAGED, AND THAT IS REALLY
CHALLENGING FOR ME.
I WORRY THAT IN MATTERS AS
IMPORTANT AS DEVELOPMENT COMING
INTO YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD I'M NOT
GOING TO BE ABLE TO ENGAGE
ENOUGH.
SO WE'RE LOOKING AT NEWER
METHODS AND ELECTRONIC METHODS
BEING FAR MORE EMPLOYED TO GET
OUT TO PEOPLE FAST SO THAT I CAN
ENGAGE.
BECAUSE THERE IS NO QUESTION
THAT ACCESS TO ME AND MY TEAM
HAS BEEN REDUCED.
WE'VE ENLARGED THE TEAM, BUT WE
ALSO HAVE TO CHANGE THE WAY WE
DO IT TO DEAL WITH THOSE TYPES
OF ONGOING ISSUES IN THE CITY.

Steve says WHAT DOES YOUR
RESEARCH SHOW IN TERMS OF HOW
MUCH MORE DIFFICULT IT IS TO
ATTEND TO THE NEEDS OF 120,000
PEOPLE INSTEAD OF 60 OR 70,000.

The caption changes to "Gabriel Eidelman, @GabrielEidelman."

Gabriel says CLEARLY IT'S A CHALLENGE, AND
I REALLY COMMEND THE COUNCILLORS
FOR MAKING A DECISION TO FIRST
INCREASE THE STAFF AVAILABLE AND
TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE ARE
STILL AVENUES FOR CONSTITUENTS
TO REACH THEIR OFFICES.
BUT I THINK WHAT'S ALSO AT PLAY
HERE IS... FIRST, JUST PUT IT ON
THE TABLE.
THERE IS NO, THERE WAS NO MAGIC
NUMBER FOR THE PERFECT AMOUNT OF
COUNCILLORS THAT WOULD SOMEHOW
REACH THIS PINNACLE OF
DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATION.

Steve says WELL, THE PROVINCE
PICKED WHAT IT PICKED BECAUSE IT
WAS THE SAME NUMBER OF MPPs AND MPs.

Gabriel says A MATTER OF PRACTICALITY, AND
THERE'S PROS AND CONS TO THAT.
BUT I THINK ONE OF THE
CONSEQUENCES THAT WE'RE SEEING
AND THAT WE'LL SEE MORE AND
MORE, BECAUSE WE'RE STILL VERY
EARLY ON IN THIS TERM, AND WHAT
I THINK WE'LL SEE MORE AND MORE
IS THAT BECAUSE OF THE DEMANDS
BASE PLACED ON YOURSELVES AND
YOUR COLLEAGUES AND THE OFFICES
IN TERMS OF CONSTITUENCY WORK,
WE MIGHT START LOSING TRACK OF
THE BIGGER PICTURE ISSUES.
THE CITY-WIDE ISSUES THAT WE ARE
ALL FACING, THAT THE CHALLENGES
ARE MOUNTING, AND SO WHEN WE'RE
STUCK FOCUSING ON ALL OF THE
LITTLE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE
HAPPENING IN OUR LOCAL
NEIGHBOURHOODS, IN OUR
CONSTITUENCIES, IT WILL BE I
THINK MORE DIFFICULT TO FOCUS ON
THE BIGGER PICTURE.

Steve says HOLD OFF ON THAT.
I WANT TO COME BACK TO THAT
BECAUSE THAT'S A GREAT POINT,
BUT ONE OF THE REASONS WE WERE
TOLD THAT REDUCING THE SIZE OF
COUNCIL WAS GOING TO BE
BENEFICIAL TO PEOPLE WAS THAT IT
WAS GOING TO SAVE 25 MILLION dollars A YEAR.
IT WOULD COST LESS.
STEVEN, I JUST HEARD YOU SAY YOU
ADDED TO YOUR STAFF IN ORDER TO
DEAL WITH ALL OF THE LARGER
NUMBER OF CONSTITUENTS THAT YOU
HAVE.
IF YOU'VE HAD TO HIRE MORE
PEOPLE TO DO YOUR JOB, I PRESUME
YOU HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO SAVE
ANY MONEY; IS THAT RIGHT?

Stephen Holyday says OH, I DON'T AGREE WITH THAT.
THERE'S STILL ONE LESS
COUNCILLOR'S OFFICE WHEN YOU
CONSIDER THE CIRCLE DRAWN AROUND
MY WARD.
SO THAT'S LESS OF A COUNCILLOR'S
SALARY AND LESS OF AN ARMY OF
PEOPLE TO SUPPORT THAT.
I INCREMENTALLY INCREASED THE
RESOURCES IN MY OFFICE, AND I
THINK THAT'S AN IMPORTANT POINT.
NOW, IS THERE A MAGICAL AMOUNT
OF SAVINGS THAT IS JUST AROUND
THE COUNCIL BUDGET AND IS IT
WORST REDUCING COUNCIL IN HALF
TO SAVE A FEW MILLION DOLLARS?
THAT'S A QUESTION THAT WE CAN
DEBATE, BUT I'LL LEAVE YOU.
WITH THIS THOUGHT.
I ALWAYS JOKE OUT IN THE WEST
END OF ETOBICOKE. THERE'S
LINE WORN IN THE CARPET FROM MY
COUNCILLOR'S CONSTITUENCY
OFFICE UP TO THE TRANSPORTATION
SERVICES DEPARTMENT. I SPEND
A LOT OF TIME WORKING WITH
THEM BECAUSE THEY GET A LOT OF
CALLS TRANSPORATION RELATED
ISSUES. THAT MANAGER NOW HAS TO
DEAL WITH FIVE COUNCILLORS
INSTEAD OF 11. HIS WORK LOAD
HAS GONE DOWN. THERE'S STILL
A LOT OF CALLS AND SERVICE
REQUESTS BUT HIS LIFE HAS
BECOME MUCH EASIER BECAUSE
OF THE AMOUNT OF RESOURCES
THAT HE HAS TO ALLOCATE
DEALING WITH LESS PEOPLE
THE EFFICIENCY IN THE SYSTEM
THAT YOU CAN'T PUT YOUR
FINGER ON BUT IT'S IN THERE.

Steve says YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE
LOOK ON HER FACE?

Shelley says YEAH.

Steve says YOU LOOK LIKE YOU'RE
FROM MISSOURI RIGHT NOW.

Shelley says YEAH.

Steve says HAVE YOU SAVED ANY MONEY?

Shelley says DOLLARS AND CENTS, LOOK,
COUNCILLORS IN THE CITY OF
TORONTO PRIOR TO THIS CHANGE
COST EACH TAXPAYER ABOUT 13 dollars 40,
AND NOW WE COST THEM 13 dollars.
THE REASON BEING ALL THAT WE
HAVE SAVED IS THE SALARY AND THE
BENEFITS OF THAT COUNCILLOR, AND
MAYBE ONE OR TWO STAFF MEMBERS
BECAUSE WHILE WE INCREASED THE
ENVELOPE, I'M NOT USING EVERY
SINGLE STAFF MEMBER ALLOWABLE,
STEPHEN'S NOT, BUT DOWNTOWN
COUNCILLORS WHO HAVE 120 AND
GROWING ARE USING THEM ALL.

Steve says 120,000.

Shelley says YEAH, WE WERE SO OUT OF WHACK
THAT COUNCILLOR WONG TAM OF THE
JAUNT CORE HAS FEWER
CONSTITUENTS THAN SHE HAD BEFORE
THIS CHANGE.
THAT'S HOW OUT OF WHACK AND
INEQUITABLE IT WAS.
BUT THE SAVINGS IS REALLY A
FALSE ECONOMY, JUST AS IT WAS
WHEN WE AMALGAMATED THE CITY.
WE SAVED THE FEW INDIVIDUAL
REPRESENTATIVES, BUT AT THE END
OF THE DAY WE BURNED THROUGH THE
MITIGATION MONEY, AND THE COST
OF RUNNING THE CITY IS DRIVEN
NOT BY THE POLITICIANS BUT BY
THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES.
AND WE HAVE THE SAME 3 MILLION
PEOPLE.
BY THE END OF THIS YEAR WE WILL
BE A POPULATION OF 3 MILLION,
AND THEY HAVEN'T CHANGED.
THEIR NEEDS HAVEN'T CHANGED.
AND THE PUBLIC SERVICE IS
FINDING THAT WHILE THERE ARE
FEWER COUNCILLORS, WE'RE STILL
ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF
CONSTITUENTS, WHICH MEANS THEIR
WORKLOAD HAS CHANGED VERY
LITTLE.

Steve says I SEE STEPHEN
BRANDISHING MAPS.
SHELDON, WHICH CAMERA DO YOU
WANT HIM TO SHOW THESE MAPS TWO?
CAMERA 1.
WILL YOU SHOW CAMERA 1 BEHIND YOU?

Stephen Holyday says I WANTED TO PICK UP ON THAT POINT.
I BELIEVE THAT THE COUNCILLOR'S
OFFICE BUDGETS AND THEIR SALARY
UTILIZATION RATE IS REALLY A
MANAGER'S PHILOSOPHY IN THAT
OFFICE
ABOUT HOW YOU WANT TO STAFF UP.
WARDS ARE DIFFERENT ACROSS THE
CITY, BUT I WOULD MAKE THE
ARGUMENT THAT THE WORKLOAD ISN'T
NECESSARILY INEQUITABLE.
IT'S JUST DIFFERENT.
BUT IF YOU WANT TO LOOK AT
DIFFERENCES IN THE WARD, YOU
TALKED ABOUT KRISTYN WONG-TAM'S
WARD.
THAT'S THE SMALLEST WARD IN THE
CITY, AND I TOOK SOME MAPS THAT
WERE TO SCALE.
LOOK AT THE LAND AREA DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN THAT AND, SAY, MY WARD.

He holds up two maps of Toronto with one ward highlighted on each one.

Steve says THAT'S YOUR WARD ON
THE LEFT.

Stephen Holyday says COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
NOW I DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT
THE STAFFING NUMBERS ARE, BUT
THEY ARE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE, AND
IT WOULD BE EASY TO CONTRAST
THEM, THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT I
SPEND ON THAT COMPARED TO HER,
AND IT'S A DIFFERENT LAND AREA.
PROBABLY A SIMILAR AMOUNT OF POPULATION.

Steve says BUT DIFFERENT KIND OF
POPULATION AND PRESUMABLY
DIFFERENT NEEDS OF YOUR
RESPECTIVE CONSTITUENTS.

Stephen Holyday says DIFFERENT NEEDS.
IT IS STILL A LOT OF WORK TO
SERVE CONSTITUENTS, BUT THE
POINT I WANT TO MAKE IS AS
COUNCILLORS APPROACH IT DIFFERENTLY.
AND WE ALL WORK LONG DAYS, AS DO
OUR STAFF, AND I THINK IT'S A
FAIR QUESTION FROM THE PUBLIC TO
ASK WHY YOU FIT UP YOUR OFFICE
WITH SIX, EIGHT, NINE PEOPLE
VERSUS SOMEBODY THAT MIGHT HAVE
TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE.

Steve says WHAT DOES THE RECORD
TELL US ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT
THESE KINDS OF REIMAGININGS OR
RE-AMALGAMATIONS OR DOWNSIZINGS
ACTUALLY SAVE ANY MONEY?

Gabriel says WELL, THEY DON'T OVER THE
LONG TERM, AND THAT'S JUST
BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO REJIG THINGS
AROUND AND THERE'S COSTS
INVOLVED.
SO THERE'S TRANSACTION COSTS
INVOLVED WITH THAT.
JUST TO PICK UP ON WHAT
COUNCILLOR HOLYDAY IS MENTIONING
HERE IN TERMS OF SAVINGS,
ABSOLUTELY YOU CAN PULL SAVINGS
OUT OF THIS PROCESS IN TERMS OF
YOUR CONSTITUENCY WORK, AND A
LOT OF THAT HAS A SYMBOLIC
VALUE.
BUT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A DROP
IN THE BUCKET HERE, RIGHT, IN
TERMS OF WHAT THE CITY IS
SPENDING ON, WE HAVE MANY, MANY
PROJECTS IN THE ORDER OF
BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS
THAT WE DON'T KNOW WHERE THE
MONEY IS COMING FROM, AND YOU
KNOW, PLAYING AROUND WITH
COUNCILLOR BUDGETS AND OFFICES,
THAT'S NOT REALLY GOING TO HELP
US SOLVE THOSE PROBLEMS.

Steve says WELL, TAXPAYERS MIGHT
SAY, YOU KNOW, A FEW DROPS IN
THIS BUCKET, A FEW DROPS IN THAT
BUCKET, PRETTY SOON YOU GOT A
FULL BUCKET.

Gabriel says WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH BUCKETS.

Steve says DON'T HAVE ENOUGH BUCKETS.

Stephen Holyday says I WAS GOING TO SAY I DON'T
THINK IT'S A QUESTION OF
LEADERSHIP AND IF THE COUNCIL
SETS THE TONE, THEN TONE
TRICKLES THROUGH THE PUBLIC
SERVICE.

Gabriel says I WOULD AGREE WITH THAT.

Stephen Holyday says AND A CLASSIC EXAMPLE IS IN
OUR FIRST COUNCIL MEETING WE HAD
A BUNCH OF OPTIONS PUT FORWARD
TO US ABOUT HOW TO HANDLE THE
COUNCILLORS' OFFICE BUDGETS,
BECAUSE WE WENT INTO AN ELECTION
PERIOD AND CAME OUT OF IT IN A
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STRUCTURE.
AND COUNCIL WENT FOR THE BIGGEST
ONE, THE BRASS RING, THE LARGEST
BUDGET.
AND I ARGUED AT THE TIME WE
DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT WE NEED.
WHY DON'T WE APPROACH THIS WITH
SOME MODESTY AND IF WE FIND
WE'RE RUNNING SHORT THROUGH THE
YEAR, WE'LL HAVE THE DEBATE, BUT
WE WENT FOR THE LARGEST BUDGET.
WE TOOK BASICALLY THE PIE AND
DIVIDED UP INTO 25 PIECES
INSTEAD OF 44.

Steve says MISTAKINGLY IN YOUR
VIEW, I GATHER?

Stephen Holyday says WELL, MISTAKINGLY IN MY VIEW,
AND IT SENT A MESSAGE THROUGH
THE PUBLIC SERVICE THAT COUNCIL
IS NOT CONCERNED ABOUT ITS
BUDGET.
IT WILL TAKE THE MONEY AND SPLIT
IT AMONGST EACH OTHER.
HOW DO YOU THINK THEY WILL
APPROACH IT WHEN IT COMES TO
BUDGET AND FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF
PROJECTS?

Steve says YOU'RE ON.

Shelley says SO I'M AN ACCOUNTANT, NOT A
CERTIFIED ONE, BUT THAT'S MY JAM.
AND WHEN YOU SET A BUDGET, YOU
WANT TO SET ENVELOPES.
WHAT IS THE MAX THAT'S GOING TO
BE NEEDED?
WE WERE USING INAPPROPRIATE
ACCOUNTING PRIOR TO THE
REJIGGING BECAUSE IN THE WARDS
THAT THEY HAD REACHED 100,000 OR
ABOVE, THEY NEEDED MORE THAN WAS
IN OUR ENVELOPE OF FOUR STAFF
MEMBERS EACH.
SO WE WERE BEGINNING TO HOLD
BUDGETS IN OTHER PLACES TO
PROVIDE AN EXTRA BODY TO THOSE
PEOPLE.
SO WE SAT DOWN AND LOOKED AT
THIS AND SAID LET'S SET THE
ENVELOPE FOR THE WARDS THAT WILL
BE AT THEIR MAX, PLACES LIKE THE
FORMER TRINITY-SPADINA PLUS FORT
YORK IS ONE BIG WARD.

Steve says THAT'S DOWNTOWN.

Shelley says YEAH, THEY NEED A LOT OF STAFF.
SOME OF US WHO HAVE A LOT OF
GROWTH GOING ON NEED OUR OWN
PLANNER.
WE NEED PROFESSIONAL STAFF.
SO WHAT WE SAID IS SET THE
ENVELOPE SO THAT IT MEETS
EVERYBODY.
THOSE WHO DON'T USE THE WHOLE
ENVELOPE WILL CREATE A SURPLUS,
AND EVERY PUBLIC BUDGET NEEDS A
SURPLUS AT THE END OF THE YEAR
THAT CAN BE USED TO GO TO THOSE
PLACES THAT NEED BETTER
INVESTMENT.
AND SO THAT'S WHAT WE DID WITH
THE FIRST ENVELOPE.
HAPPILY, STEPHEN'S NOT USING ALL
OF IT.
I'M NOT USING ALL OF IT, SO
THERE WILL BE A SURPLUS, BUT WE
KNOW THAT WITHIN THE PROPERLY
ACCOUNTED FOR ENVELOPE
EVERYONE'S NEEDS ARE BEING MET
ALL THE WAY UP TO THE MOST
POPULOUS WARDS, COUNCILLOR
WONG-TAM, COUNCILLOR FILION AND
COUNCILLOR CECI.

Steve says OKAY, CAN I ASK
EVERYBODY TO GET COMFORTABLE
NEXT WHILE I SET UP THIS NEXT
AREA OF INTERROGATION HERE?
SOME OF US ARE OLD ENOUGH TO
REMEMBER THE OLD METROPOLITAN
TORONTO COUNCIL WHICH WAS TWO
TIERS OF GOVERNMENT, A METRO
LEVEL AND THEN SIX CITIES, ALL
OF WHICH HAD THEIR OWN COUNCILS.
THIS IS PRE-AMALGAMATION DAYS.
AND THERE WERE A LOT OF
POLITICIANS ON ALL OF THAT.
THEN MIKE HARRIS CAME IN AND
GREETED THE MEGACITY, A SINGLE
TIER OF GOVERNMENT, A LARGISH COUNCIL.
HOW MANY COUNCILLORS ON THAT ONE?
IT WAS 47 I THINK?

Shelley says YES.

The caption changes to "Whose democracy is this anyway?"

Steve says YEAH, IT WAS 47 FOR
THAT ONE.
BUT A SINGLE TIER.
NOW WE HAVE STILL A SINGLE TIER,
BUT IT'S HALF THE SIZE.
SO YOU CAN SEE THE DIRECTION
THAT THIS HAS BEEN GOING IN OVER
THE PAST FEW DECADES.
YOU COME IN FIRST ON THIS.
AS THE PROGRESSION CONTINUES TO
WIND ITS WAY THROUGH, AND
PRESUMABLY THIS ISN'T THE LAST
WORD ON MUNICIPAL RESTRUCTURING.
I MEAN, THE NEXT GENERATION WILL
FIGURE OUT ITS OWN THING, WHAT'S
THE NEXT STEP?

Gabriel says THAT IS A GOOD QUESTION.
SO THESE TWO COUNCILLORS, FOR
EXAMPLE, ARE ON A NEW COMMITTEE
THAT COUNCIL HAS STRUCK TO
CONSIDER THOSE KIND OF
QUESTIONS, AND AS IT HAPPENS,
I'LL BE PRESENTING TO THEM IN A
FEW DAYS WITH SOME OF MY IDEAS.

Steve says DO YOU WANT TO TELL US
WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO TELL THEM?

Gabriel says WELL, I WAS PART OF A PROJECT
INITIATIVE CALLED THE CITY HALL
TASK FORCE WHICH WAS SOMETHING
THAT WAS ORGANIZED AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO WHERE I,
ALONG WITH BRIAN KELSEY, NOW AT
THE TORONTO REGION BOARD OF
TRADE, HE WAS ON THIS PROGRAM I
THINK NOT TOO LONG AGO.

Steve says YEAH.

Gabriel says WE CONVENED A PANEL OF FORMER
CITY COUNCILLORS, CITY SERVANTS,
CITY MANAGERS, POLITICAL STAFF,
ACADEMICS AND CIVIC LEADERS TO
COME UP WITH SOME IDEAS TO...
WELL, WHAT WE CONSIDERED
PRACTICAL CHANGES.

Steve says GIVE US ONE.

Gabriel says ONE IDEA.
SO I WAS MENTIONING EARLIER THAT
WE REALLY HOPE THAT COUNCIL...
WE WISH THAT COUNCIL WOULD THINK
OF THE BIG PICTURE ISSUES A
LITTLE BIT MORE.
AND SO WE HAD A RANGE OF IDEAS
BEGINNING WITH THE MAYOR IN
TERMS OF HOW YOU COULD SET
PRIORITIES THAT FOCUS ON
CITY-WIDE ISSUES, AND THAT
BEGINS WITH THE BUDGET.
WE HAVE A FORMER BUDGET CHIEF
HERE SITTING WITH US.
THAT'S SHELLEY CARROLL.
EVERYTHING COMES DOWN TO THE
BUDGET IN TERMS OF IDENTIFYING
THE PRIORITIES THAT COUNCIL
BELIEVES WE SHOULD BE INVESTING
IN.
AND SO WE SET UP IDEAS OF HOW WE
CHANGE THE PROCESS.
NOT STRUCTURALLY CHANGE COUNCIL,
BUT THE PROCESS OF HOW WE MAKE
DECISIONS, MEANING THAT RIGHT
NOW IT IS UNCLEAR FOR EVEN
SOMEONE LIKE ME, WHO FOLLOWS
THIS STUFF CLOSELY, TO REALLY
UNDERSTAND WHAT THE PRIORITIES
OF THIS COUNCIL ARE IN TERMS OF
THE TERM OF COUNCIL.
SO FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS, WHAT
ARE YOU COLLECTIVELY TRYING TO
ACCOMPLISH AND HOW ARE YOU
COMMUNICATING THAT TO RESIDENTS?
IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO FIGURE
THAT OUT.

Steve says CAN I ASK A FOLLOW-UP
QUESTION WHICH IS MAYBE... WELL,
I DON'T KNOW IF I SHOULD ASK YOU
OR THESE TWO.
LET'S ALL GET INTO IT HERE.
THE MAYOR IS ELECTED CITY-WIDE.
HE HAS A MANDATE TO SPEAK FOR
THE WHOLE CITY.

Gabriel says DEMOCRATIC LEGITIMACY.

Steve says YOU TWO ARE ELECTED IN
YOUR PARTICULAR CONSTITUENCIES,
AND THE ARGUMENT IS AS A RESULT
YOU DON'T THINK ABOUT THE
CITY-WIDE, YOU THINK ABOUT
WHAT'S GOING TO PLAY IN YOUR
PARTICULAR CONSTITUENCY.
HOW DO WE GET YOU TWO THINKING
MORE BIG PICTURE, CITY-WIDE
PRIORITIES AS OPPOSED TO
STRATEGICALLY, YES, AS OPPOSED
TO WHAT'S ONLY HAPPENING IN WARD
17 OR WHAT'S ONLY HAPPENING IN
WARD 2?
GO.

Shelley says WELL, YOU KNOW, WE GRAPPLE
WITH CITY-WIDE ISSUES EVERY TIME
WE WALK INTO THE COUNCIL
CHAMBER, BUT THEY ARE SET IN THE
CONTEXT OF THE MAYOR'S MANDATE,
BECAUSE THE MAYOR HAS A GREAT
DEAL TO DO WITH THE SETTING OF
THE AGENDA.
AND HE HAS FIRST CONSIDERATION
OF IT THROUGH HIS EXECUTIVE
COMMITTEE, A HAND-PICKED, HE
GETS TO APPOINT IT COMMITTEE AND
APPOINTS ALL THE CHAIRS.
SO THE AGENDA IS SET FOR US, AND
WE HAVE TO WORK WITHIN THAT
CONFINE.
WE'RE SORT OF WORKING WITHIN HIS
MANDATE.
BUT I'LL TELL YOU, THE REPORT
THAT GABRIEL DID CAME BEFORE THE
PROVINCIAL REQUEST FOR A FORUM.
ADVICE WE WERE GETTING FROM THE
COMMUNITY, PARTICULARLY THE
YOUTH COMMUNITY, ABOUT OUR LACK
OF DEMOCRACY AROUND THOSE BIGGER
AND MORE VISIONARY ISSUES, WAS
ALREADY COMING AT US IN OUR OWN
WARD BOUNDARY CONSULTATIONS.
AND NOW CHAIR HOLYDAY OF THAT
COMMITTEE HAS ASKED FOR INPUT
FROM THE PUBLIC.
AND I THINK IT'S VERY TELLING
THAT WHAT THEY'RE ASKING FOR IS
NOT WE'D LIKE THIS COMMITTEE TO
BE ABOUT THIS TOPIC AND THIS
MANY MEMBERS.
THEY'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THOSE
LITTLE FIDDLE AROUND THE EDGES
THINGS.
THEY CAME FORWARD IN THE MAIN
TALKING ABOUT DEMOCRACY ISSUES,
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO BUILD IN A
LAYER OF DEMOCRACY THAT WE HAVE
REAL ACCESS TO UNDERNEATH YOUR
SUPER-COUNCIL WITH YOUR
SUPER-WARDS?
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GIVE US
THAT KIND OF ACCESS THAT WE
NEED?
AND SOME IMPACT ON DEMOCRACY FOR
THE EMERGING ISSUES THAT COME UP
POST-THE MAYOR'S ELECTION.
AND THEY WERE ALSO LOOKING FOR
ELECTORAL TYPES OF REFORM.
LIKE CAN WE TALK ABOUT RANKED
BALLOTING AGAIN?
CAN WE TALK ABOUT CAMPAIGN
FINANCING AGAIN?
BECAUSE THEY'RE VERY CONCERNED
THAT OUR SUPER-WARD
SUPER-COUNCIL SYSTEM HAS GIVEN
US NOT LESS BUT MORE INCUMBENT
ADVANTAGE.
AND THOSE I THINK ARE THE THINGS
THAT THE COMMUNITY REALLY WANTS
US TO ADDRESS IN THIS FIRST
TERM.

Steve says STEPHEN?

Stephen Holyday says WELL, IT'S THE AGE-OLD
QUESTION OF HOW DO YOU DIVIDE
YOUR LOYALTIES TO YOUR
CONSTITUENTS AND THOSE THAT
ELECTED YOU TO WHAT YOU ARE
SHOULDERED WITH AS CITY
BUILDING.
SOMETIMES THOSE DON'T SQUARE UP,
BUT I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE
IDEA, YOU KNOW, HOW DO WE KEEP
MOVING THE YARDSTICK TOWARD?
I DO LOOK TO THE LEADERSHIP OF
THE MAYOR AND THAT PARTICULAR
SUPPORT ABOUT PERHAPS A STRONGER
MAYOR SYSTEM, BUT THE MAYOR IS
OUT THERE GIVING SPEECHES, STATE
OF THE UNION TYPE ADDRESSES, AND
HE WILL GIVE CLUES IN THOSE
ABOUT WHERE HE BELIEVES THE CITY
IS GOING.
ONE OF THE ADVANTAGES OF A
SMALLER COUNCIL, OF COURSE, IS
THAT YOU DO HAVE MORE
INDIVIDUALITY AS A COUNCILLOR
AND A STRONGER VOICE.
IT ALSO MEANS THAT THE MAYOR HAS
A SMALLER POOL OF PEOPLE THAT HE
HAS TO WORK WITH TO TRY TO FIND
SOME POLICY ALIGNMENTS AND SOME
MIDDLE GROUND TO MOVE THESE
THINGS FORWARD.
IN TERMS OF HOW DO INDIVIDUAL
COUNCILLORS CONTRIBUTE TO MOVING
THE CITY FORWARD?
I THINK ONE OF THE EXCITING
THINGS ABOUT THE COMMITTEE
SYSTEM IS YOU CAN PICK, IF YOU
CAN, OR AT LEAST VOLUNTEER FOR A
COMMITTEE THAT INTERESTS YOU.
I SPENT SOME TIME ON
INFRASTRUCTURE LAST TERM, AND I
REALLY LIKED IT.
I LEARNED A LOT ABOUT ROADS AND
WATER INFRASTRUCTURE AND BEGAN
TO WRAP MY HEAD AROUND PROJECTS
THAT I WANTED TO TRY TO HELP
CHAMPION AS A COUNCILLOR.
THERE'S NOTHING THAT HOLDS US
BACK FROM TAKING ON AN
INITIATIVE AND GOING OUT THERE
AND PUSHING OUR BIG IDEA, AND
THAT WE DO DO.
AND YOU SEE THOSE THINGS IN THE
NEWS.
BUT WHEN YOU HAVE A GROUP OF 25,
YOU HAVE BETTER LUCK TRYING TO
PUSH THOSE FORWARD.

Steve says LET ME PLUCK ONE IDEA
OUT OF WHAT YOU SAID.
I'LL PUT IT TO GABRIEL.
HE TALKED ABOUT A STRONG MAYOR
SYSTEM.
THERE ARE MUNICIPALITIES IN THE
UNITED STATES WHERE THE MAYOR,
FOR EXAMPLE, IN A STRONG MAYOR
SYSTEM, IF HE OR SHE DOESN'T
LIKE A DECISION THAT COUNCIL HAS
MADE, HE OR SHE CAN VETO THAT
DECISION, AND IT'S MORE LIKE A
PRESIDENTIAL-STYLE SYSTEM.

Gabriel says YEAH.

Steve says WE OBVIOUSLY DON'T
HAVE THAT HERE.
THE MAYOR IS ONE VOTE OUT OF 25
ON COUNCIL, NO MORE, NO LESS.
WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON WHETHER WE
SHOULD ADOPT A STRONG MAYOR SYSTEM?

Gabriel says WE SPENT A LOT OF TIME
THINKING ABOUT THIS AT THE TASK
FORCE, WHICH IS STILL PUBLICLY
AVAILABLE.
PEOPLE CAN JUST GOOGLE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO CITY HALL
TASK FORCE.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT CAME OUT
OF THOSE CONVERSATIONS, WHICH
EVEN SURPRISED ME, AND I THINK
ABOUT THIS TYPE OF QUESTION, I
GET THIS FROM STUDENTS ALL THE
TIME, SHOULD WE REPLICATE WHAT'S
HAPPENING IN NEW YORK, CHICAGO,
ET CETERA?
AND ONE THING THAT CAME UP IN
OUR CONVERSATIONS WAS YOU REALLY
HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THE MAYOR'S
POWERS ALONG TWO DIFFERENT
DIMENSIONS.
HIS OR HER'S LEGISLATIVE
AUTHORITY, MEANING VETO POWERS,
ET CETERA, HIS OR HER'S
RELATIONSHIP WITH COUNCIL AND
COUNCILLORS.
BUT ALSO THEIR EXECUTIVE
AUTHORITY, BECAUSE RECALL THE
MAYOR'S ALSO THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE
OFFICER OF THE CORPORATION, THE
MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF THE
CITY OF TORONTO.
AND SO THERE IS AUTHORITY THAT
COMES WITH BEING THE EXECUTIVE,
WORKING WITH STAFF, WORKING WITH
THE CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE.
IN OUR DELIBERATIONS, WE CAME TO
THE CONCLUSION THAT IN THE
CURRENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE
MAYOR AND COUNCILLORS, IT'S
PROBABLY WHERE IT NEEDS TO BE.
COUNCILLORS ARE KEEPING THE
MAYOR IN CHECK WHEN THEY NEED TO
KEEP THE MAYOR IN CHECK.
AND AS YOU MENTIONED, THE MAYOR
HAS LOTS OF FREEDOM TO BRING
COUNCILLORS ALONG IN TERMS OF A
POLICY AGENDA.
ON THE EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY SIDE,
THIS IS WHERE THINGS GET
MUDDIED, AND PARTICULARLY FROM A
RESIDENTS' PERSPECTIVE.
IF WE'RE THINKING ABOUT CUSTOMER
SERVICE AND CLIENTS AND USER AND
RESIDENTS AND CITIZENS-CENTERED
PERSPECTIVE, THE EXECUTIVE
AUTHORITY OF A MAYOR IS HIDDEN
OFTENTIMES, MEANING IN BUDGET
DEBATES, RIGHT?
THE MAYOR WILL SPEAK TO THE CITY
MANAGER'S OFFICE THROUGH A
MANDATE LETTER, THROUGH OTHER
TYPES OF CLUES EVEN IN PUBLIC
SPEECHES AND SAY THIS IS WHAT I
THINK WE SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISHING
THIS YEAR.
BUT FROM THE PUBLIC'S POINT OF
VIEW, IT FEELS LIKE WE'RE
HOPPING AROUND, DIFFERENT
PRIORITIES HERE AND THERE.
NOTHING IS REALLY ON THE RECORD
IN TERMS OF WHAT THE MAYOR'S
SAYING TO COUNCILLORS, WHO ARE
SUPPOSED TO KEEP THE MAYOR IN
CHECK, AND TO THE REST OF THE
COMMUNITY AND THE PUBLIC AT
LARGE ABOUT WHAT THE PRIORITIES
ARE FOR THIS TERM, AND THEN
GOING FORWARD FOR THIS YEAR, AND
THEN GOING FORWARD FOR THE REST
OF THE TERM.

Steve says LET ME GET A SENSE
ABOUT STRONG MAYOR VERSUS STATUS
QUO FROM YOU TWO.
SHELLEY CARROLL, YOU WANT TO SEE
MORE OF A NEW YORK STYLE,
CHICAGO STYLE MAYORALTY?

Shelley says NO, THERE ARE THINGS WE
SHOULD BE TAKING FROM THE NEW
YORK CITY MODEL, BUT I DON'T
BELIEVE BY AND LARGE
TORONTONIANS WANT THE STRONG
MAYOR MODEL.
WHAT THEY DO WANT IS THAT LAYER
OF DEMOCRACY THAT SITS
UNDERNEATH THAT STRONG MAYOR.
THE COMMUNITY BOARD SYSTEM IS
SOMETHING THAT WE MAY HAVE TO
LOOK AT BECAUSE NEW YORK CITY
COUNCILLORS HAVE ABOUT 150,000
PEOPLE.
THEY ARE HAMPERED.
THEY ARE ALSO CONFINED A LITTLE
BY A STATE PARTY STRUCTURE.
THEY HAVE DEMOCRATS AND
REPUBLICANS.
THAT SORT OF FEEDS AND SUPPORTS
THE STRONG MAYOR MODEL.
BUT THERE THE MAYOR HAS A BUDGET
OF HIS OWN OF ABOUT $100
MILLION.
HE'S OVER THERE IN GRACIE
MANSION, AND HE MEETS WITH
COUNCIL EXACTLY ONCE A YEAR.
ONCE A YEAR HE ATTENDS COUNCIL
TO GIVE THEM HIS BUDGET.

Steve says THAT WOULDN'T FLY HERE, EH?

Shelley says AND I DON'T THINK
TORONTONIANS WANT DEMOCRACY TO
BE THAT TOP HEAVY.
BUT WHAT THEY DO OFTEN RAISE IS
DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THESE
COMMUNITY BOARDS?
CAN WE HAVE A COMMUNITY BOARD?
AND I KNOW FROM THE NEW YORK
COUNCILLORS THAT I KNOW, THEY
SOMETIMES DREAD THAT BECAUSE,
YOU KNOW, THERE IS A BIG
CITY-WIDE INITIATIVE AND THE
MAYOR IS LOOKING FOR SUPPORT FOR
IT, AND IT'S SOMETHING THAT'S
COME UP POST-ELECTION, AS THINGS
DO OVER FOUR YEARS, HE WILL GO
DIRECTLY TO COMMUNITY BOARDS.
AND SO HE'LL BE PRESENTING IT TO
THE COMMUNITY AT THE SAME TIME
HE'S PRESENTING IT TO THE
COUNCILLORS.
AND THEY'RE SORT OF BLIND SIDED.

Steve says STEPHEN, STRONG MAYOR SYSTEM?

Stephen Holyday says I THINK IT'S WORTH HAVING A
DISCUSSION, AND I TAKE TO HEART
THE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE MAYOR
BEING THE CEO OR THE CHIEF
EXECUTIVE OFFICER.
POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS AND PUBLIC
POLICY DISCUSSIONS ASIDE, MY
DEALINGS WITH CITIZENS ARE
DEFINITELY RESULTS ORIENTED.
THEY WANT THEIR PROBLEMS SOLVED.
THEY WANT SOMETHING DEALT WITH.
THEY WANT SOMETHING FIXED.
THEY WANT SOME RESOURCES ADDED
TO SOMETHING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
ANYTHING THAT STREAMLINES THE
SYSTEM TO GET FASTER RESULTS I
THINK IS A PLUS, AND SOMETHING
THAT CITIZENS WOULD TRADE-OFF
FOR THE RISKS OF PUTTING POWERS
INTO THE HANDS OF A CHIEF
EXECUTIVE OFFICER.
AND THE ONLY OTHER THING YOU HAD
MENTIONED AS WELL OR... I'M
SORRY, COUNCILLOR CARROLL HAS
MENTIONED AS WELL IS LOOKING AT
THE ROLE OF THE COMMUNITY
COUNCIL AND THE ADJUDICATIVE
BOARDS AND THE COMMUNITY BOARDS.
I WOULD CAUTION THAT WITH
ANYTHING THAT GUMS UP THE WORKS
FURTHER, SO NOW WE HAVE TO GO
GET TWO DECISION BODIES TO MAKE
SOMETHING HAPPEN, OR THERE'S
RISK OF OVERTURNING ONE BODY OR
THE OTHER, I THINK PEOPLE JUST
WANT THEIR DECISION AND THIS IS
BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE AT
COMMUNITY COUNCIL.
THEY WANT TO KNOW IF THEIR FENCE
IS ALLOWED TO BE THIS TALL OR
THIS TALL.
THEY WANT TO GET THE HECK OUT OF
THERE AND GET ON WITH THEIR LIFE.
WE NEED TO KEEP THAT STREAMLINED.

Gabriel says WE'RE DEALING WITH A PARADOX HERE.
THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT IS THE
MOST TRANSPARENT LEVEL OF
GOVERNMENT, AND IN MANY WAYS THE
MOST INCLUSIVE, BUT IN PRACTICE
IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY,
BECAUSE FOR ALL THAT
TRANSPARENCY, WE'RE INUNDATED
AND RESIDENTS ARE INUNDATED WITH
THIS INFORMATION THAT THEY CAN'T
MAKE SENSE OF.
SO IT'S ACTUALLY QUITE OPAQUE,
AND FOR ALL ITS INCLUSION, YOU
WERE MENTIONING THE AGENCIES AND
BOARDS AND COMMITTEES,
ET CETERA, THERE ARE MANY POINTS
OF ENTRY INTO THE DECISIONMAKING
PROCESS, BUT RESIDENTS HAVE
TROUBLE UNDERSTANDING HOW IT ALL
WORKS.
AND SO MY ADVICE IN TERMS OF
REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, IN TERMS OF
GENERAL MUNICIPAL AND LOCAL
GOVERNANCES WE NEED TO STEP BACK
AND THINK ABOUT WHAT ARE WE
TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH AND WHAT
ARE THE PROBLEMS THAT ARE
PREVENTING US FROM SOLVING THE
REAL CHALLENGE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Meredith Martin, @MeredithMartin."

Steve says CAN I THANK SHELLEY
CARROLL, TORONTO CITY COUNCILLOR
FROM WARD 17.
STEPHEN STEPHEN FROM WARD 2
ETOBICOKE CENTRE AND GABRIEL
EIDELMAN, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT
MUNK SCHOOL OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS
AND POLICY AT THE U OF T FOR
COMING INTO TVO TONIGHT AND
HELPING US OUT WITH THIS.
THANKS SO MUCH.

The guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: Assessing Toronto's Smaller City Council