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The Future for Me and This Blog 2 -- The City Budget Project

A few weeks ago, I kicked off a process where I was going to plan some changes in my life by working through them in this blog.

I got some good response, including email from a reader who wrote me with some career-planning advice (based on the interests I've revealed through my writing). What I've realized, however, is that the likelihood of me changing jobs is pretty slim for the next 12 months or so.

On the other hand, I do want to carry through on the process. I need to find some new things to get involved in, and I want to be involved with things that connect well with my interests, my values, my ability and my availability. If I want any help from you, the reader, I will have to get around to spelling those things out. In the meantime, I've already thought of a project that will keep me going for a little while.

In a four-month period beginning in January, the City of Toronto is going to work through its annual process for developing a budget. The city budget is a complicated thing, and it touches on every aspect of municipal government. It is also a contentious political issue that will be particularly important this year because of the collision between the high hopes of our new mayor and council and the realities of tough fiscal situations for both Toronto and Ontario.

Despite its importance and its centrality, I don't know a whole lot about our city budget -- but that's probably more than the average resident. So, what I plan to do is to observe, understand, and blog about this year's budget process as much as I can. I hope that I'll be able to inform my readers at the same time that I develop some expertise on my own. And, ultimately, I hope that it will help me understand everything that happens at City Hall a lot better.

There will be challenges -- I'm pretty busy at work these days, and I've had a hard time finding people at City Hall who will help -- but I will also be aided by the fact that this year's budget process will be more open than ever before. I also hope that I can count on some assistance from readers who may know something that I don't.



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