They say that Politicians should never make promises, because they never keep them. I want to change that assumption. That’s why it is important that I update you on what my staff and I have been doing in order to keep my election promises. It is my goal to maintain your trust and deliver the promises that I have made to you.
During the 2006 election campaign I promised to achieve a number of objectives. The following list of promises and results are provided to give you a realistic snapshot of my accomplishments to date. This is quite unorthodox for a politician to be doing this but I hope that you appreciate the dedication I have to you and this community.
Promoting Responsible Development
There are significant development pressures on our community and I am committed to ensuring that the local residents have meaningful input into development applications. As a member of the Planning & Transportation Committee, I was able to include Avenue Road for a detailed planning and development study. This means that the city planners will work with local stakeholders, including residents and businesses on a vision for Avenue Road for all future development applications for that street.
I was active in lobbying the Provincial government for the reform of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and worked with local resident associations on this very important initiative.
Over the last few years, our community has received the largest number of residential development applications that require Committee of Adjustment approval. As a result of the tremendous amount of infill housing construction I have worked with local residents to ensure the variances being requested at the Committee of Adjustment respect the character of the neighbourhood. I also brought forward an amendment to the Noise By-Law, which limits the use of construction equipment on Sundays and statutory holidays.
I will continue to ensure that there is meaningful resident participation in all development applications.
Encouraging Community Safety
I have supported several community safety initiatives and the creation of the Mayor’s safety panel. I have also supported the hiring of additional police officers so that the Toronto Police Service maintains the necessary staffing to address the more complex crimes that take place in our city.
Locally, I have supported, and will continue to support, initiatives that improve safety in our community; such as, continuing the annual graffiti audit and graffiti eradication programs; participating in the CPLC meetings at 32 and 53 Division; and working in partnership with the police on local community initiatives.
Building Effective Partnerships
Our greatest accomplishments are achieved together. That is why I encourage and support community networks that create local strategies to bring about positive change. This has led to many important initiatives involving local resident associations, parents, teachers, youth, police, business owners and religious leaders.
Some of our accomplishments include:
- The revitalization of our parks, including Cortleigh Park, Lytton Sunken Gardens, Woburn Park and the creation of the new Heart Park
- The creation of the annual Ward 16 Volunteer of the Year Award to promote volunteerism in our community; and
- Working effectively with other levels of government.
I will continue to work with the residents of Ward 16 to enhance our community and strengthen community partnerships.
Encouraging Efficiency and Effectiveness at the City of Toronto
Residents have experienced above average tax increases over the past three years. I voted against the last two city budgets. I have worked to ensure that the taxes you pay result in improvements to services you receive. I will continue to be an advocate for improved budgeting at the city, improved service delivery and accountability and transparency.
Promoting Citizen Engagement and Accessibility
I believe that it is important to be accessible to our community. Our office has made a commitment to the residents of Ward 16 to ensure a high level of customer service. Local residents know that when they call our office, they will be able to speak with committed staff who are able to assist them with their questions and concerns.
In addition, we publish an annual Ward 16 newsletter that contains information about the latest events and initiatives that have taken place in the community. I have quarterly meetings with members of the local resident associations so that we can share information and ideas. I have ensured that my website is updated to reflect the latest community events and concerns.
I have also held several town-hall meetings on Community Safety and taxes and regularly have public meetings to discuss issues that concern local residents.