Raines takes on Shelley Carroll in Don Valley East
(Written June 4 for Town Crier.)
David Raines thinks it’s time for a change in local representation in Ward 33 so he’s applying for the job.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a few years,” says the Don Valley East council candidate, who’s thrown his hat into the political ring, alongside incumbent councillor, Shelley Carroll.
“The last two years, I’ve seen how the city has been going raising taxes on everything.”
He said one way to keep taxes down is to partner more with private businesses.
“For example, the TTC can partner with private enterprise say, on sponsorship of a station,” said Raines. “That could be looked at.”
His father had a courier business in Toronto, so he learned about business from the ground up, he said, and he had his own security business that taught him how to budget and pay attention to the bottom line.
He said he’s gone through the city’s 2010 budget line by line.
Raines is adamant that some programs need to be chopped, and the city needs to work closely with private enterprise and other levels of government in order to access more revenue.
City hall also needs fresh political faces, Raines said. This was especially evident when he saw councillor Paula Fletcher raise her voice at a deputant during a spring budget meeting.
“I’m able to listen and understand people and advocate for people,” said the 38-year-old. “When you have been a councillor for a long time, you can lose focus of that.”
He’s been attending local police liaison committee meetings to learn about local issues. Fortunately, crime rates in the area are relatively low, he said.
The candidate also has experience in community building and volunteerism.
When he was a high school student, he started a local chapter of Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving.
“It became one of the biggest school organizations in the region for (OSAID),” he said. “We had police bring in a drunk driving simulator, community (education) events in malls, festivals and parades.”
His community work also includes $12,000 in Cancer Society fundraising through the Relay for Life, he said.
This is the fourth year he and his family have participated following the loss of his father to cancer in 2006.
Raines is running against Carroll, a veteran municipal rep and current budget chief. In order to increase his name recognition Raines plans to knock on doors and get the word out he’s running.
“I will give (voters) that voice and represent people. I won’t throw my hands up when things get tough. We can make a difference.”
Another reason to run for council: his two sons.
“Everything I do, I have an eye on setting a good example, be a good citizen,” he said. “My sons, eight and nine are mature. We’ve had the conversation of why I am running.
“If you aren’t happy with something, do something about it.”