True to form, North York councillor waits until the end to register
(Written for Town Crier Sept. 7)
He got in just under the wire, but Willowdale Councillor David Shiner is running for re-election.
Shiner signed up on Sept. 7, just days before the Sept. 10 deadline.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people asking me to remain on council,” he said in an interview today after he registered.
“It’s extremely important that there’s good representation with a history of the suburbs. A number of my colleagues with history have left,” said Shiner.
Howard Moscoe, Mike Feldman, Brian Ashton and Case Ootes are all retiring from city politics represent North York, Scarborough and East York.
Because of that turnover, Shiner said his experience will come in handy if he wins re-election.
“This council was divided with the way the mayor worked,” said Shiner, who is not a fan of outgoing Mayor David Miller. “I plan to bring that experience and offer it to the new mayor.”
Shiner is not endorsing a mayoral candidate at this stage as he wants to see what policies they come up with as the campaign heats up post-Labour Day.
On the policy side Shiner said he doesn’t support the Transit City light rapid transit plan but instead is pushing for subways and may look at increased development fees to make it happen.
“Increase development charges to include money do transit,” he said. “We have a development levy for parks, roads, the separate school board. Taxpayers shouldn’t pay the entire cost of expanding transit.”
He said developers are benefiting by attracting buyers to buildings along transit corridors without contributing enough to the costs of building subways.
“They are getting a free ride,” said Shiner.
Shiner wouldn’t comment on whether any of his colleagues might get defeated in this election, but said the attitude on spending has to change.
“There are some downtown councillors who have a tax and debt mentality. This new council has to get taxes under control,” he said.
He is also pushing to scrap the personal vehicle registration tax.
This isn’t the first time Shiner has announced his intention to run very close to the deadline.
In 2006, he registered just four days before the Sept. 29 registration cut off.
“I always weigh my options,” Shiner told the Town Crier in 2006 when he registered Sept. 25 just four days before the Sept. 29 cutoff for that Nov. 10 election.
Shiner was first elected in 1991 and has won handily in the past. In 2003, after he registered all opponents dropped out and he was acclaimed as the only candidate. In 2006, he got 6,930 votes compared to his closest competitor Ed Shiller with 3,768 votes.
In the current election as of mid-day Sept. 7, Shiner has three challengers in Ward 24: Sonny Cho who signed up March 9, Eugene Loo who registered July 15 and Bob Nahiddi who became a candidate Aug. 23.
I volunteer with a tenants association in David Shiners ward. Over the past eight years we have at several issues where he has successful done what others in council and at the provincial MPP level could not or would not do.
One was the right for tenants to air condition their units. There was a 4 year lead up where the landlord told the tenants groups that to cool their units with window A/C units was okay. They asked in both written and verbal form several times but what about the new window’s you’re about to install. Then two weeks after the new windows where installed during a heat wave several of the landlord rep’s went door to door insisting people remove them immediately!
So after 48 months of asking about cooling their units once the new windows where installed, and several tenants had bought and installed one, two or in a few cases three units they felt forced to take them out.
Several tenants with chronic, acute or brittle health where forced to live in their unit with no A/C living with 98F/37C for two days while the landlord kept making excuses for when the new a/c units would arrive. Oh and they had to purchase. One man was home on chemo fighting cancer just into his second treatment while at the same time recovering from heart surgery just four months prior.
David Shiner stepped up to the plate. He assisted the owners management understand this was not how to treat people. Long and short of it The tenants got to cool their unit in a manner that the owner could live with and the tenants did not have to spend twice as much money on new in unit A/C units. Unless of course the landlord’s staff had intimidated them into doing that. About 2/3’s of them gave their old and new window units away and bought the very unique quality landlord units which could not keep up with outside daily temperatures above 29C.
I would guesstimate David Shiner must have had or attended at least 18 meetings on this topic. It set a president for the city and the province. He want to ensure that tenants would come out of it safely and landlords still had a decent ROI.
He has consistently been here for tenant groups on many issues in our part of North York.
One key point I have found David to be big on is input from all sides. On a recent issue he brought city staff, a commercial management team, the property owners, local tenant president all to the table. The issue was well under control in less than three days.
So to clarify Yes lots of condo’s going up here in this ward. It was the OMB that over ruled the City of Toronto on density on at least one of these projects, thus allowing far more density than was wanted.
I find it interesting that the only complaints here against David Shiner are from others running for council in other wards. Hmmmm…
Wishing every one an interesting race.
I think its a bit presumptuous to think that Shiner will begin to do things now if he’s re-elected. As far as I know he’s been on council forever, and there hasn’t been enough action. He talks about development levies for transit, but where was that idea when the subway was built on Sheppard? Now there are all sorts of condos going up there. I tend to agree with Ken, let’s get some fresh blood in there, we got a good pool of candidates to pick from this time around.
Alex, maybe I will ask David Shiner to respond since it’s not my job to defend or explain what he has or hasn’t done as a councillor. But maybe he has argued for these development levies for transit when the Sheppard line was built. I will ask him.
Ken, Shiner told me he fights against inappropriate development and for shelters and daycare. He was also budget chief under Mayor Mel Lastman. He told me he wants to offer his talents to the new mayor, so perhaps you will see a more active Shiner if he is re-elected?
I’ve followed city hall politics for quite a while, including watching meetings on Rogers and I find Shiner a ‘backseat’ kind of guy. Never seems to put forward any vision and usually talks about keeping the status quo and finding fault with whatever is put forward. He doesn’t have much respect for citizen input either: when 30+ people showed up to make deputations to the Licensing & Standards commitee about Dean Maher’s suggestion to ban dog/cat sales from retail stores (see: https://kscheuer.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/pet-store-ban-on-cat-and-dog-sales/ ), Shiner was the one who made the motion to duck the issue and force people to come back next year. He does a lot of that. Hope he has good competition for his run as this is an incumbent we don’t need there.