Dickins vs. Jenkins deja vu all over again
(Written for Town Crier Aug. 27.)
It’s a Dickins family tradition to run against Councillor Cliff Jenkins in ward 25.
Joanne Dickins registered Aug. 25 to run against the Don Valley West incumbent. In 2006, her husband Tony Dickins ran in the ward, coming second with 2,788 votes to the winner Jenkins, who garnered 7,954 votes.
Tony isn’t running this time. But after much deliberation, his wife is — and she hopes to win in the ward she’s grown up in.
In fact the Dickins’ met at York Mills CI and have raised three kids in the ward who all attended the local high school.
“It’s just the right time for me,” said Dickins, whose youngest child is now 19.
For nearly 30 years, Dickins had a career in make-up application for actors in film and television. She’s volunteered on parent councils and done school fundraisers.
“I have my mom who lives in the ward. I’m worried she won’t be able to afford to live here,” said Dickins, who lives in the York Mills area. “In the last four years there is now more tax, land transfer, vehicle registration taxes, garbage (fees). I know I can stop the silly spending (that happens) without thinking about the practicalities.”
She recognizes politicians need to spend to run the city, but it’s about picking priorities, she said. Instead of the Transit City plan for new LRT streetcar lines, she’s advocating for subways to relieve traffic congestion.
“I’m for subways that take things off the surface routes. It is a larger investment but without the wasteful (spending), we’d have more money. I think I can make better decisions.”
She’s been campaigning for mayoral hopeful Councillor Rob Ford for the past few months and is endorsing him. Ford encouraged her husband to run in ’06 and her to register this time out, said Dickins.
“It seems city hall is broken and we need fresh blood,” she said.
She will start knocking on doors at the end of August and Ford may do some canvassing with her, she added.
“People are angry with the way money is being wasted. They want someone who is an ordinary taxpayer, not a politician.”
She also promises better customer service if elected.
“I will return everyone’s call and at least let them know who to contact,” she said.
The race is a competitive one with incumbent Jenkins running again as well as Tasha Batt and Jaye Robinson, who originally won in 2003 but lost by 80 votes in a recount.