City Council meeting of September 26 and 27, 2007
Preferred proponent for the 3-1-1 technology sub-project
Council approved Bearing Point as the preferred proponent for the 3-1-1 Technology Solution Request For Proposal (RFP) based on its overall value for the City. As per Council direction in March 2007, a new pricing RFP using the Best and Final Offer (BAFO) option was issued to the two proponents that met all the technical requirements of the first RFP in order to find further pricing efficiencies. The BAFO procurement process was the subject of expert testimony at the Toronto Computer Leasing and External Contracts Inquiries, and was noted by Madame Justice Bellamy "as a best practice designed to mitigate the risk associated with the traditional one-shot processes." BAFO is a useful vehicle for ensuring the best possible technical solutions at the lowest prices and for avoiding unnecessary competition cancellations. This is the first time Toronto has used the Best and Final Offer option.
Amendment to fireworks bylaw
City Council amended the fireworks bylaw and permit requirements to increase permit fees for vendors that sell family fireworks on a temporary basis. Temporary lease fireworks vendors and mobile fireworks vendors who sell large quantities of family fireworks must pay $1,500 for a permit to sell fireworks on Canada Day and Victoria Day, and the seven-day period before each of the holidays. Vendors that store and sell more than 25kg of family fireworks at any one time will be required to pay $750; vendors selling less must pay $500 for an annual permit. In April 2007, Council authorized a new harmonized fireworks bylaw but later re-opened the decision to allow further consultation with the pyrotechnics industry. The increased permit fees will provide the resources to administer and enforce the bylaw and assist in promoting public safety regarding the use and sale of fireworks. The new bylaw and applicable permit fees take effect January 1, 2008.
Flat rate for Toronto taxis and limos
Council approved a flat rate fare for Toronto-licensed taxicabs and limousines for trips originating within the city of Toronto and ending at Lester B. Pearson International Airport. The new flat rate will be equivalent to the tariff rates set by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority for their licensed taxicabs and limousines for similar trips. Additionally, passengers can choose to pay the lesser amount of either the meter rate or the flat rate.
Advocating for a state of good repair for City's social housing
City Council passed a motion urging each of the political parties in the provincial election to make commitments to fund the backlog of repairs in Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) and other social housing communities downloaded to the City. TCHC was asked to report back on its building renewal program, the backlog of repairs and its efforts to remedy the most pressing building conditions. Council also adopted a motion requesting background on how the $300 million estimate in the backlog of repairs was developed, including an estimate of how the backlog is growing in the absence of provincial assistance. After the amalgamation of the City of Toronto, the provincial government of the day downloaded all social housing stock onto the Toronto government without the necessary funds to ensure a state of good repair.
Action on marijuana grow operations
Council approved new bylaws to address municipal issues resulting from the use of properties as marijuana grow operations, including recovering enforcement costs incurred by the City. The first bylaw establishes new offences in regards to causing, allowing or permitting a property to be used for the purposes of a marijuana grow op, and requires the owner to undertake appropriate remedial work. The second bylaw adds a list of applicable charges for services or activities carried out by City agencies and divisions that are necessary to investigate and enforce the bylaw. City Council also directed staff to seek the maximum set fine available ($500) from the province for violations of the new bylaw. In accordance with the new City of Toronto Act, the City is required to inspect any property that has been identified as a marijuana grow operation by a police service and take appropriate action to render the building safe. Properties that have been illegally converted for use as marijuana grow ops may result in issues of municipal concern and public safety, including electrical hazards, water and mould damage, structural issues and related neighbourhood crime.
New committee members
Council appointed Councillor Janet Davis to the Executive Committee to fill the member-at-large vacancy that was created when Councillor Norm Kelly accepted the position as Chair of the Planning and Growth Management Committee - all Standing Committee Chairs are automatically members of the Executive Committee. Council also appointed Councillor Brian Ashton to the Community Development and Recreation Committee.
Reinstatement of Monday programming in community centres
Council directed staff to take immediate steps to restore drop-in community programs on Mondays, including after-school programming, which do not require registration, in all City community centres. On August 10, the City of Toronto announced cost containment measures and service level adjustments to reduce the 2008 operating budget shortfall by $83 million. Staff identified more than $34 million in operating budget reductions for the remainder of 2007. As part of the package, City community centres were identified to be closed to the public on Mondays from mid-September until December 31, 2007. The service level adjustments are necessary because the City does not have the diverse sources of revenue needed to fund important City services. Additionally, the Toronto government continues to be forced to pay the cost of provincially mandated programs, and has depleted reserve funds and exhausted all other one-time revenue sources to pay for the ongoing operating costs of delivering core municipal services.
Previous Council Highlights
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