Councillor Josh Matlow

Note from City Manager Joe Pennachetti

A Note from Joe Pennachetti, City Manager


Welcome to the third of my regular messages to the Toronto Public Service. In my last note to you on May 20, I provided details on the City’s Ideas that Work employee suggestion initiative, the launch of a multi-year financial planning process and the Service Review Program which is being undertaken in preparation for the 2012 Budget Process. The City is facing difficult decisions for 2012 and future years to meet its budget challenges. We currently have a 2012 operating budget pressure of $774 million.


Today, I want to focus on the Core Service Review, the first part of the Service Review Program, which was launched in April to examine which services the City should be delivering. The Core Service Review is now complete, and today I released a report to deliver the results to the City’s first Special Standing Committee, Public Works and Infrastructure, to be reviewed at its meeting on July 18. The results consist of a Core Service Review Summary and Service Profiles prepared by consulting firm KPMG LLP and the results of a public consultation.

Each of the City’s Standing Committees will hold special meetings between July 18 to 28 to consider the results of the Core Service Review specific to the mandate of the Committee.


The agendas for the Special Standing Committees will be released over the next week according to the following schedule:


Standing Committee

Agenda Release

Meeting Date

Public Works & Infrastructure

July 11

July 18

Economic Development

July 12

July 19

Community Development & Recreation

July 13

July 20

Parks & Environment

July 14

July 21

Licensing & Standards

July 18

July 25

Government Management

July 19

July 26

Planning & Growth

July 20

July 27


July 21

July 28


I encourage you to take the time to review the agenda for these meetings here: and to read the attached reports to inform yourself about the discussions that are taking place about City services.


As the Core Service Reviews are discussed at the Standing Committees, you will no doubt hear much in the media and from other sources about which City services are essential and which ones are not. I know this will be a very difficult time for those of us who deliver these services and who take pride in our work. I know that you are concerned about the impact of these reviews. Ultimately, it will be Council’s responsibility to make final decisions about City services, how they are delivered and which services are core to Toronto’s needs.


Please note that all media inquiries related to the Core Service Review are to be forwarded to Strategic Communications ( for response.




As part of the Core Service Review, the City retained third-party expertise, KPMG LLP, to conduct a review of every service delivered by the City and its agencies, boards and commissions. As part of its assessment, KPMG LLP reviewed and analyzed more than 150 services delivered by the City and its agencies, boards and commissions to determine whether these services are core to the City’s operations and to compare the level of service against other jurisdictions.


The assessment of each service includes an inventory of the service, service levels and service standards; an analysis of each service to determine the degree to which it is a core service for the City; the role the City plays in each service; comparison of City services and service levels against similar jurisdictions; an analysis of options and opportunities for potential cost savings; and potential risks and implications of opportunities. The options and opportunities are intended to support Council decision-making, and are not recommendations.


Public Consultation


As part of the Core Service Review, the City also launched a public consultation process to encourage the public to tell us what they think about City services, which services they consider priorities and what they want City Council to consider when making decisions about future service delivery. Members of the public were invited to complete a feedback form on City services and to attend one of eight roundtable discussions held across the City.


Nearly 13,000 people provided their input on City services using the feedback form. The consultation confirms that the public values and relies on the services that the City delivers and ranked the same services highly as KPMG considered core and essential. These services include public transit; emergency response; water treatment and distribution; public health services; garbage; organics and recycling; roads; sidewalks and traffic services; and public libraries. The results of these public consultations are included as an appendix in the report being released today with the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee agenda.


I will report further on the Core Service Review, including recommendations from the Special Standing Committees, to the Executive Committee at its September 19 meeting and to City Council at its September 26 and 27 meeting. City Council will make decisions on service and service level changes and reductions at this meeting. Council’s decisions will then be incorporated into the 2012 budget process, which formally begins in November.


I will continue to provide you with information on the Core Service Review as it becomes available and will also update you at a later date about the other two parts of the Service Review Program, the User Fee Review and the Service Efficiency Studies, which are underway.  As part of this process, I remain committed to minimizing the impact on staff and to ensuring that diversity and equity are maintained or enhanced as we go through this process.


In closing, I would like to acknowledge all of the efforts that City staff and agencies undertook through the Financial Planning and Reporting System to complete the service inventory information that was critical to completing the Core Service Review within a very tight timeline.


Many thanks also to all of you for the great work that you continue to do every day to provide our City services to the residents and businesses of Toronto.


Joe Pennachetti — Toronto City Manager


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