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.