This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
September 24, 2013 RE: ZOO GOVERNANCE By : Miguel Avila – Citizens Advisory Committee
Mr. Mayor, Toronto Taxpayers are happy to learn that the Elephants are finally leaving the ZOO ( and soon to be released from the elephant-napping clutches of zoo staff and management in their desperate need to keep jobs) Well done!. Hold down, we are not out of the wood just yet, Today, this Committee is meeting to debate the City Manager report and the Zoo's report on their OUTRAGEOUS and impossible-to-justify Governance changes (Item EX34.7). Torontonians are not aware of any ransoms paid, nor are they aware of any lastminute attempts (yet) to reverse the transfer to California. However, never underestimate the silliness of the Toronto Zoo management to mess things up before Thanksgiving. Torontonians know for a fact that anything is possible in Toronto Zoo-land. The hoopla of staff wanted to keep their jobs, management didn't want to look like fools, because the KNOW IT ALL.. and City Council actually debated this silliness twice...how embarrassing . Dear Committee members it will still cost the City of Toronto MILLIONS of dollars per year to subsidize the Zoo's operating expenses (along with the $5 Million or so per year in capital expenditures), you really think by 2021 the Zoo would be able to walk on their own? They need the City’s subsidies to accomplish just that. Mr. Mayor, Torontonians from all walks of life sense desperation as the City Manager has put some conditions to the plans that the ZOO is asking for.As usual the Zoo Board and Management would rely on overpaid consultants to come to the rescue.. but the overpaid consultants estimate that UNDER FAVOURABLE CONDITIONS (not their BASE projections), the Toronto Zoo may break even in operating expenses by 2021. Yes, sponsors, third-party agreements and donations will do the trick...Oh Yes…SURE THEY WILL. the consultants have been paid so they can not be hold accountable for any error.
FACTS AND SOLUTIONS IN THE LONG RUN:
1.-The Rouge Valley National Park has excluded any form of partnership with the Toronto Zoo .At a Public Town Hall Meeting 2012 08 14 at Pickering City Hall attended by concerned Torontonians , we learned at that meeting and from the horses mouth, Superintendent Pam Veinotte ;that the zoo current facility does not fit into the criteria of a National Park. But anything is possible at the last minute Congratulations Mr.Mayor for getting $660 million for Scarbourough residents, maybe you could do the same for the Zoo? Have a high level meeting with Mr. Harper and ask him to take over the Zoo? See video here: http://youtu.be/oXpM_vByoKc 2.-Another practical and not so incredible solution is to negotiate funding with regional governments such as Durham and York Regions to come to the financial rescue. It is not unattainable for the City of Toronto to continue financing the zoo while nearby regions enjoy services paid by Toronto Taxpayers. Remember the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has ownership of the land the ZOO sits on. 3.-Another real fact that this board needs to consider as a top priority to keep politics out of the Zoo Board. Political Interference has led over the years to a to be build a nonsensical reputation. Torontonians don’t want to hear another trivial plans or absurd projects. 4.- Oh and the Pandas? Let’s ask the Budget Chief three (3) years from now…if the Pandas are a money winning operation after some check and balances… Who is going to cover the fees? Toronto Taxpayer’s?…I Don’t think so. 5.- Let’s get more proactive and return the missing component to the T.O ZOO. Bring good people in, with like-minded people who genuinely care for the animals and are not worry of their political future at stake or selfish interests. To us, Toronto Taxpayers, the most suitable solution is to include residents , visitor, users as part of a Committee that will provide advise, knowledge, support a second sober opinion to the ongoing board via a Citizens Advisory Committee for the Toronto ZOO an idea put forward by a former employee of the Zoo, and sadly because of political reasons it has been discarded over and over.. time for change is Now. The High Park is doing incredible well.. Why not introduce an Advisory Committee for the Zoo?
Sincerely, Miguel Avila Citizens Advisory Committee