User Fee Policy, September 9, 2011.
In interpreting the distinction between fees and taxes, the courts require that a fee charged for a service or activity must bear a relationship to the cost of providing the service or activity for which the fee is charged. Subsection 259(2) of CoTA provides that the costs included in a user fee may include costs incurred for administration, enforcement and the establishment, acquisition and replacement of capital assets.
Division Heads need to determine whether the benefits each service provides accrue directly to specific individuals or groups of individuals (a private service), and should therefore be paid for by users of the service; or whether the service benefits the entire society (a public service) and should be funded from the property tax revenues. Read More >>
One way to look at city services is through the lens of physical infrastructure: it is the job of the city to provide functional [hysical assets for the rest of us to go about our civic lives.
We focus on parks infrastructure, since that is a common meeting ground.
Of the collection of material here, the most extensive is for playgrounds. Playgrounds have undergone many transformations in the last several years, and we try to make sense of the reasons and effectiveness of these.
June 1, 2010
Toronto has a new community resource, the CELOS Regulatory Research Database.
After years of accumulation of data on parks and public spaces, CELOS has embarked on a program to establish key parts of this data in a format that is as readily accessible to the public as possible: this is the Regulatory Research Database [now the public commons database]. The database sets the stage for collaboration with others. It's a shared resource.
Toronto has more than 50,000 Full Time Equivalent staff positions (and a lot more people, since some are part-time). This army of people provide a varied set of services. Here we try to get some context and perspective on these staff, what they do, and what they cost.
2010 Report from Dave Harvey (Toronto Park People), funded by the Metcalf Foundation Fertile Ground for New Thinking Dave's concludes that it's time for Torontonians involved with parks to join their voices in bringing about park improvements.
Here is the City's list of "stakeholders" who were contacted to give their opinions about the Recreation Service Plan in May and June, 2011 (and the Parks Plan in September 2011). Here's the city's stakeholder list with contact links. If your "park friends" or advisory group is not on the list of groups who will be asked for their views, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to help you get on it.