Council deals with a large amount of important business. Based both on my principles and what I’ve heard from you, here are the priorities that I will focus on as your councillor.
Every year, we pay more and more for what seems like a declining level of service. We’re told we can’t have a great transit system because we don’t get enough money from higher levels of government, but I believe Toronto can take charge and get the transit system it deserves. Torontonians are right to expect better from the better way. As your councillor, I will work to:
- Make customer service a priority through better management and clear performance expectations for employees.
- Prioritize better project management, including clear accountability and penalties, so that we don’t have a repeat of the St. Clair right-of-way debacle.
- Safeguard the financial sustainability of the TTC by ensuring that there is always a plan to pay for increased operating costs brought on by expansion of the system.
- Make on-time arrival a priority so that posted schedules actually mean something. No one should have to stand in the cold of winter waiting for an egregiously late bus.
- Modernize the TTC by embracing—rather than resisting—new technologies and tools like electronic payment and the Google Transit trip planner.
- Open all transit data to allow residents and third-party developers to contribute tools and solutions.
- Keep the system public to prevent fares from rising even more and to avoid decreases in service that would occur if parts of the system were privatized.
The City of Toronto faces a crisis of confidence in its ability to manage its finances responsibly. We need to know that every dollar the City brings in is spent as wisely as possible, and that the services the City provides achieve measurable results in the lives of Torontonians. As your councillor, I will work to:
- Bring more transparency to the budgeting process to ensure residents can fully participate, have their voices heard and hold their elected representatives to account.
- Move to a multi-year operating budget to facilitate better planning and more long-term thinking.
- Increase the tax base rather than the tax burden by using smart urban planning to attract more businesses and residents to Toronto.
- Reduce the need for chronic property tax increases above the rate of inflation by pushing for new revenue sources—including road pricing—to make sure people from outside of Toronto who use our roads pay their fair share.
Smart, sustainable development
New development in Ward 27 should plan for our future while honouring our past. As the city grows, intensification can be beneficial, but we must also protect the uniqueness and diversity of each of our neighborhoods. Moreover, we must stop constructing new buildings that don’t meet even the most modest definition of energy and water efficiency. As your councillor, I will work to:
- Improve Toronto’s Green Development Standard by increasing the minimum requirements for new buildings and introducing more ambitious voluntary targets with attractive incentives for developers.
- Preserve existing rental space while building new affordable housing that is integrated with neighbourhoods rather than isolated.
- Protect the character of our neighbourhoods by championing businesses and land uses that reflect their uniqueness.
- Stand up for quality architecture that brings bold new ideas to the ward, while respecting our heritage and enhancing our existing streetscapes.
- Increase transparency by making public and easily accessible the fees developers pay to the city and how that money is spent to ensure it benefits the community.
I’m deeply concerned by the amount of trust that’s been lost in City Hall and our elected officials. Councillors need to be more accountable, open and responsive to their constituents. As your city councillor I will work to:
- Require all city councillors to publish their voting records online in an easy-to-navigate way. I will also always publish why I voted the way I did, because you deserve to know.
- Put transcripts of all city debates online to improve transparency and accountability.
- Reduce city councillor office budgets and tighten the guidelines for how that money can be spent.
- Return all calls and emails, giving you a tracking number for your issue and letting you know when you can expect to hear back.
Agree or disagree with something here? Is there something I’ve missed or something I should know? I want to hear it. Leave a comment below.