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February 15, 2002
City's 2002 budget open to public deputations
  
The City of Toronto's 2002 operating and capital budgets are open to final
deputations by the public following an extensive review by the City's standing
committees and the Budget Advisory Committee over the past month.

Submissions will be heard at a joint meeting of the Budget Advisory Committee
and the Policy and Finance Committee on Monday, February 18 at 9:30 a.m. in the
council chamber. Anyone wishing to make a deputation to the committees should
register at the meeting.

Following the public deputations, the Budget Advisory Committee will make its
final recommendations on February 19, at 9:30 in Committee Room 1. The Policy
and Finance Committee will make a final review on February 21 in Committee Room
1. Council approval of the City's 2002 budget is set for the week of March 4 to
8.

"Our focus has been on maintaining existing programs, managing the City's debt,
keeping taxes down and increased accountability," said Chief Administrative
Officer Shirley Hoy. "We are committed to excellence in service delivery, and
through performance measurement we can ensure we are providing the best value
for taxpayers."

For the 2002 budget, the City adopted a more rigorous process that will improve
reporting structures and greater accountability to the taxpayer. This process
also includes an accelerated review schedule that will see final approval for
the budget at the Council meeting in the first week of March. Last year, the
budget was not approved until the end of April.

"Keeping taxes for Toronto homeowners as low as possible has been our main goal
during this year's budget deliberations," said Budget Chief David Shiner. "The
process has been more open and comprehensive than any other in the past. Every
member of Council was encouraged to attend the committee meetings and make
recommendations on City services and cost savings. The Budget Advisory
Committee has worked hard over the past month reviewing the requests presented
by the standing committees and agencies, boards and commissions and is looking
forward to hearing input from the public."

For more information about the 2002 budget, go to the City of Toronto Web site,
http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/city_budget/index.htm .


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