Fill It Out. Shape Your City.

I saw a link today to the Toronto Services Review page on the City’s website. In a nutshell Toronto’s 2012 budget  will have a gap of $774 million, and City Council has launched a review of all of its services and implemented a multi-year financial planning process. It’s a complex project/topic/undertaking and now there’s a website. They want our advice on how to fill this gap.

So I took the survey. I’m a sucker for a survey. It is long. It is involved – there aren’t any simple answers to this conundrum and this survey proves that.  You’ll be choosing which things you consider “cannot live without” to “City can do without”. You’ll be choosing from folksy answers such as “I don’t care, as long as the quality is good”, or “I don’t care, as long as it’s cheaper”.

Item: The phrase “I don’t care” kinda bugs. Shouldn’t you care? I mean if you’re doing an opinion-based survey? Just my opinion.

So! We know what I think is important right? Arts and culture! And off I scrolled to find the arts and culture parts where I DID care.
And scrolled.
And scrolled.

Oh THERE they are! Generally near the bottom, below the questions about “I don’t care” about the environment or public libraries.  So a word of advice – you’ll need to scroll if you care about certain things making it into the very survey you’re creating.

One warning bell went off – there was an entire section devoted to “three live theatre spaces”. If you know anything about these “three live theatre spaces” – I suggest you scroll and care your little heart out. “Three live theatre spaces”? Oddly specific, that.

There are also sessions you can attend, heck you can run your own session and there are other ways to voice and understand.

Anyway between the scrolling and the “I don’t care”ing and three as the magic number – I am recommending you go fill this out. I repeat, lengthy, complex. Twenty or so minutes depending what letter of your game you are on. Scroll, fill, shape your city.

I care.

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