Six things our city politicians achieved in one day

Six things our city politicians achieved in one day

Left to right: Giorgio Mammoliti, a giant flagpole, filthy lucre, skiers, a proposed hockey complex 

Boy, let it never be said that the city can’t buckle down and get some work done when there’s a deadline looming. Yesterday’s executive committee meeting, the last one before the next election, got a whole bunch of lingering issues out of the way—some will move on to council, and others are now mercifully dead. Here, a quick survey of what the executive got through yesterday:

Good news for Giorgio Mammoliti
Mammo got his wish for a giant flagpole to mark the Emery Village BIA. The approval was nearly a sure thing considering it won’t cost the city a cent—local businesses are paying the freight for the whole endeavour.

Not as good news for Giorgio Mammoliti
The executive committee quietly let an appeal die on the matter of illegally paying for councillors’ lawyer bills. The Star‘s Royson James let loose on council for this mess, and it’s hard not to agree.  The city went against its own legal advice, lost, and is now slinking away on something that made council look collectively stupid.

Ski hills will stay open
At a cost of $600,000, the city will keep its two ski hills—at Centennial and Earl Bales parks—open for one more season while they try to find a buyer. These would be the same two ski hills that the city has so far unsuccessfully tried to privatize. Some councillors seem to be rethinking the whole privatization scheme, with Janet Davis saying, “Should we only allow skiing and snowboarding for rich kids? Absolutely not.”

Gee, wonder how that will turn out
The committee voted to defer any decision on whether the mayor should get a raise until the next council. Given that all of the leading mayoral candidates have said they would refuse the raise or even take a pay cut, it sounds like this one is just dead.

Arts get a boost—kinda
The committee decided to stick to a plan to keep raising arts funding (this time from $18 per capita to $25 per capita by 2013). Don’t get too excited, though: the city is still behind on its own timeline issue and the bump still needs to be put to a council vote after the election.

Stacked rink yes, funding no
The much-loved, much-hyped design that would accommodate four stacked hockey rinks at the Lower Don Lands gets approval, but there’s still a funding shortfall. Check out our full story on it.

Not a bad day’s work by the standards of this committee. Now, anything that made it through the executive committee still needs to be approved by the full council later this month, but hopefully council will be similarly efficient with its agenda. Hey, if this is how the city operates when they’ve got an election looming, it almost makes us wish there was an election every year.

Actually, wait. We take it back.

• Flagpole for Emery Village [Toronto Sun]
• James: Councillors back down on funding legal battles [Toronto Star]
Toronto ski hills given a helping hand [Globe and Mail]
Mayor’s raise report deferred [Toronto Sun]
• City Hall moves to raise arts spending [Toronto Star]
Rink project gets the nod [Toronto Sun]

(Images: Mammoliti, toronto.ca; flagpole, Emery BIA; skiiers, Jesslee Cuizon; rinks, 3LHD Architects/RDH Architects)