Fourth Wall: City Hall Scorecard

As I wrote on January 24th, the recommendations from the Fourth Wall exhibit are already making waves at City Hall.  With strong support from both City staff and City Councillors, individual items are being brought forward one by one.  The ball is now rolling, and this blog post will serve as a ‘living document’, tracing the progress of all 36 proposals.

I’ll list them in two formats: By status & by item (1 – 36)

Need some background? Here’s how City Hall works:
           Finding Your Way Through City Hall
           Inside Baseball: The Rules of City Council 

a) Fourth Wall proposals (listed by Status)

One proposal has already been fully implemented:

• Installing free and open Wi-Fi at City Hall and all Civic Centres.

These four items were moved by Paul Ainslie and adopted unanimously at Government Management Committee on January 30th, 2012. Staff will now report back to Committee on ‘feasibility’ of each item.

• Minimum deputation duration which cannot be waived.
• More evening sessions of committees, to encourage heightened community attendance.
• Increasing ‘timed’ items on committee agenda items to make deputants attendance easier.
• Restricting the introduction of motions without notice.

This item was also separately adopted at the same meeting:

• Request to Include Course on Municipalities and Neighbourhoods within Provincially Mandated Curriculum

These twelve items were moved by Paul Ainslie and appeared on the Jan 24 Executive Committee agenda (items 15 and 16). They were referred to staff, who will report back to Government Management Committee:

• Staff support for residents’ groups
• Convening a “Dialogue on reconnecting people with government”
• Improving signage and outreach/education materials at City Hall lobby
• Create a “one stop” resource centre for citizen engagement at City Hall
• Redesigning public notices

• Increasing the number of budget consultations
• Using ranked ballots and Instant Runoff Voting in Toronto elections
• Holding our municipal elections on a Saturday or Sunday
• Adding a fully integrated ward search function to our elections website
• Campaigns should be allowed to easily provide contact information
• The election website should include active hyperlinks to candidates’ websites
• The city should pro-actively promote the nomination process and encourage nominations

b) Fourth Wall proposals (listed by item)

colour codes:
Green = Proposal implemented
Orange = Moved at Government Management Committee, sent to staff for report
Blue = Moved at Executive Committee, sent to staff for report

note: “GMC” = Government Management Commitee

1) Public notices should be completely re-designed, as ‘marketing’ materials (Moved at Executive Committee, staff will report back to GMC)
2) The Ontario Planning Act should be amended to allow for public notice re-design
3) Public notices should be published in more than one newspaper
4) Let’s explore participatory budgets for Toronto’s neighbourhoods
5) The number of community information sessions across the city should be increased (Moved at Executive Committee, staff will report back to GMC)
6) The budget process should be promoted more widely, using plain language
7) Our provincial curriculum should include a full course on municipalities and neighbourhoods (adopted at GMC, Jan 30 2012)
8) A ‘City Hall School’ should be created with a designated classroom at Toronto City Hall
9) Let’s lower the voting age to 16
10) It’s time to retire the title of “worship”
11) Toronto should create tributes to non-elected (and unwealthy) community leaders
12) Citizens should decide in a poll who we name landmarks after, rather than politicians naming things after   themselves
13) The City should have several staff positions dedicated to supporting residents’ groups (Moved at Executive Committee, staff will report back to GMC)
14) Let’s create and support an active city-wide association of resident’s groups
15) Let’s bring ranked ballots and Instant Runoff Voting to Toronto (Moved at Executive Committee, staff will report back to GMC)
16) Our municipal elections should be held on a Saturday or Sunday (Moved at Executive Committee, staff will report back to GMC)
17) Let’s dump the four-year term, since no one asked for it in the first place
18) Legislation should be created imposing a binding referendum on future term extensions
19) Our elections website needs a makeover including a fully integrated ward search function (Moved at Executive Committee, staff will report back to GMC)
20) Campaigns should be allowed to easily provide contact information online (Moved at Executive Committee, staff will report back to GMC)
21) The election website should include active hyperlinks to candidates’ websites (Moved at Executive Committee, staff will report back to GMC)
22) The city should pro-actively promote the nomination process and encourage nominations (Moved at Executive Committee, staff will report back to GMC)
23) New regulations should restrict the introduction of controversial motions without notice (adopted at GMC, Jan 30 2012)
24) Overnight consultations should be banned due to inaccessibility
25) A minimum deputation length should be established, one that cannot be over-ruled. (adopted at GMC, Jan 30 2012)
26) Let’s explore the viability of evening meetings for Community Councils (6-9pm) (adopted at GMC, Jan 30 2012)
27) “Timed items” should be introduced more frequently, to make attendance easier (adopted at GMC, Jan 30 2012)
28) Childcare opportunities should be explored for public meetings
29) Snacks and beverages should be provided at all public meetings
30) Meetings should be better promoted with good design, plain language and translations
31) Our ward boundaries should be redrawn, to reduce the discrepancy in sizes
32) Let’s explore new models of subsidiarity for Toronto’s neighbourhoods and former cities
33) The proposed “Dialogue on reconnecting people with government” should be launched in 2012 (Lost in space • referred to GMC, January 24)
34) Better signage and outreach/education materials should be created in our City Hall lobby (Lost in space • referred to GMC, January 24)
35) Free and open Wi-Fi should be installed at City Hall and all Civic Centres.  (Fully implemented)
36) A “one stop” resource centre for citizen engagement should be created at City Hall (Lost in space • referred to GMC, January 24)

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