Mayor’s panel tables findings on how city works — and doesn’t
The lefties said they loved it. The right-wingers rejoiced. The province said it sounded just fine.
The reaction to a wide-ranging expert panel report on how the city of Toronto works — and doesn’t — came in for near-unanimous praise yesterday, from everyone from Mayor David Miller to his most vocal opponents at city hall.
A panel of independent experts appointed by Miller yesterday tabled a report that suggests a near-revolutionary overhaul of the city’s operations.
Among other things, it calls for regional road tolls, selling off surplus city lands and giving the mayor a tighter rein on council.
Highlights of the report include:
Create a super agency to make best use of the city’s $17.9 billion in real estate holdings, targeting a gain of $150 million per year.
Find ways to wring more value from existing assets like the Toronto Parking Authority.
Consider an annual $25-per-space parking lot tax to bring in $80 million for environmental initiatives Negotiate with the province for longer-term funding commitments in key areas such as the TTC.
Consider selling Toronto Hydro, which could single-handedly pay off the city’s $2.6-billion debt and eliminate $440 million per year in principal and interest payments Reform the structure at city hall to give the mayor, as city CEO, more powers to execute an agenda, especially on fiscal matters.
- Panel members said they want the report endorsed in its entirety and not to have politicians cherry-pick the lowest, sweetest fruit.