SECTION 37 & 42 FUNDS - LETTER TO COUNCILLOR HOLYDAY
Friday, June 20, 2019
Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West
2nd Floor, Suite B26
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2
Attention: Councillor Stephen Holyday
Dear Councillor Holyday,
Over $1 million of Section 37 and 42 Funds have been sitting in a bank account for 3 years, not being used for the purposes they were committed too.
The deadline for the Shannex development funds are set to expire in December 2019 and the deadline to submit projects to the City of Toronto for execution in Silver Creek Park and Richview Park in 2020 is October 2019.
You have not provided progress updates to your constituency regarding available funds for community benefit and you have declined repeated requests to meet with Friends of Silver Creek.
This letter is in follow up to the requests made for a meeting with you, Councillor Holyday by Friends of Silver Creek (FofSC) to confirm usage of Section 37 and 42 Funds in Silver Creek Park and Richview Park.
In March 2018, FofSC organized and hosted a public meeting to inform the community on what section funds were, how they were to benefit residents and to ask for feedback on usage. City staff presented information and provided answers to community questions.
Further to the meeting, FofSC sent out an online survey jointly with former Councillor John Campbell to begin the community consultation process asking for feedback and suggestions on what residents wanted the section funds to be used for. This survey was provided to you via email and in hard copy.
Shortly after your election to the newly created Ward 2, FofSC met with you on January 8, 2019 and on March 8, 2019 and then with your staff and City of Toronto Parks staff on April 17, 2019 in an effort to confirm the process and timeline for usage of section funds.
The Section 37 and 42 Funds confirmed constitute a value of approximately $1,0390,000.
Councillor Holyday, you confirmed the amount of funds in the March meeting attended by members of FofSC, Christopher Clarke, Parks Technical Services and Susan Korrick, Supervisor Capital Projects Parks Forestry and Recreation. You also committed to work with the community to begin the process and commit funds to projects for Silver Creek Park and Richview Park.
When FofSC followed up to arrange the next meeting which had been agreed upon, your constituency advisor declined the request for the meeting.
FofSC arranged the April meeting with Christopher Clarke and invited you to attend but it was your constituency advisor, Dion Angelini who attended instead. During this onsite meeting, Mr. Angelini repeatedly stated that you were committed to using the Section Funds and meeting all necessary deadlines.
At the conclusion of this meeting, all parties agreed what next steps would be, including a meeting at the end of May to confirm projects and have them approved by the October 2019 deadline so that they could be scheduled for construction/implementation in 2020.
After our attempts to schedule a May meeting were declined, on May 13, 2019 FofSC submitted a project request list based on discussions with Chris Clarke and the community survey results. We continue to wait for a response regarding the project list.
FofSC have also requested responses to the following questions:
What are the next steps necessary to achieve the goal of park amendments for both Silver Creek Park and Richview Park?
What are the important timelines in achieving these goals for the community?
Do you plan to divert all/portion of these funds to the long neglected Warrender Park (former Ward 3) as you suggested in our March meeting?
FofSC support improved public space for all communities but we have stated repeatedly that we are advocating for the communities directly impacted by the developments attached to the Section Funds and for the needs of both Richview Park and Silver Creek Park.
These parks are in areas that continue to experience intensification with no commensurate investment in recreational infrastructure. Newly built residences have none to minimal green space. Also, it should be noted that Section Funds from the Eglinton developments have already funded improvements in Westgrove Park and LaRose Park.
You have confirmed that the Shannex agreement for usage of Section Funds expires in December 2019. In addition, City staff have confirmed that projects for 2020 need to be confirmed by October 2019. Time is running out in order to meet these two deadlines.
Your constituency advisor’s response for the past two months has been that the office is waiting for more information. Please confirm: what information are you now waiting for?
On June 13th, we asked to have a conversation with our councillor regarding an update. Your constituency advisor Dion Angelini told us there is no update, that you met with us for one hour (during the March meeting when you left early without advising us of your timeline) and that you are “a busy man”.
Councillor Holyday, are you too busy to speak with constituents and advocate for community benefits?
As your constituents and members of a civic minded group that seek to connect and inform our community, our hope is that we can work together to determine positive outcomes with funds that have been sitting in the bank for at least 3 years.
Please note that Mayor John Tory has been copied on this letter, with a covering statement that we believe our experience has not been made easier by the 25-ward system enforced by the provincial government.
It is our hope that we can resume discussions with you and meet the October 2019 deadline for project confirmations for Silver Creek Park and Richview Park.
We await your response.
Janet Griffiths-Maxymiw Tracie Napoli
Friends of Silver Creek Friends of Silver Creek
Cc: Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto
Chris Clarke, Parks Technical Services, City of Toronto
Susan Korrick, Supervisor Capital Projects Parks Forestry, City of Toronto
Contact Councillor Holyday with questions and to request updates
on the deadlines and usage of the Section 37 and 42 Funds.