On Thursday, we told you that Rob Ford’s City Hall wants to shut down 21 advisory committees (committees that cost virtually no money and take advantage of volunteer work by passionate citizens in areas such as cycling, pedestrian safety, childrens services and economic development just to name a few).
Tammy Thorne (pictured at right), editor of Dandyhorse magazine, and member of the Cycling Advisory Committee has written a great article in BlogTO about why the Committee should be saved, and the good work that the committees accomplish:
Advisory committees provide an avenue for regular folks to get issues to council that are important to them, but might not be at the top of the political agenda. As a committee member I can work with staff over an extended period of time to help track projects and ensure that plans are actually implemented. Indeed, access to staff is the biggest boon of being a committee member to my mind. While some (including me) might say that keeping councillors and staff honest is our bane.
I’ve been working with, and as a volunteer for many years now, and I have to say it’s bad business to turn away good people willing to work for you for free. It’s neither respectful nor cost-effective.