Council candidate takes on current rep Joe Mihevc
(Written for Town Crier Sept. 16)
St. Paul’s resident Beth McLellan felt compelled to run for council despite warnings the odds are stacked against her.
“I threw my hat in the ring September 3,” said the Ward 21 candidate. “So many people are complaining in our ward saying they were unhappy and (yet) they said absolutely no one could beat Joe Mihevc.”
While aware that beating any incumbent is no easy task, McClellan said she’s ready for the challenge.
“I have been handing out flyers,” she said. “I am going to businesses and homes and talking to people.”
McLellan said she’s not happy with the way city hall spends money, including allowing city employees to ring up millions in credit card charges with little accountability. She noted the price tag for the St. Clair Right-of Way grew exponentially during construction.
Then, there are additional taxes such as land transfer and vehicle registration taxes, she said.
“It seems unfathomable that all these councillors voted for all these taxes with no consultation in the ward,” McLellan said.
She’d rather see the millions the city hands out in grants put to expanding sustainable energy instead.
However, McLellan said she’s not against spending in other areas of municipal service.
“I think all three — EMS, TTC and garbage — should be essential (services). I think it’s worth (higher costs).”
And she’d like to see additional revenues and a Toronto Lotto with prizes such as Metropasses used to pay down the city’s debt.
McLellan sais she is also a proponent of a two-term limit for councillors.
She worked as a teacher at the elementary and high school levels as well as an engineer for Bell Canada. As an engineering associate for 16 years she also helped prepare budgets of $400 million.
“I feel my background in teaching makes me a good communicator,” said McLellan, who is quite fluent in French and Italian.
“I’m a person of integrity and honesty. I would be there for constituents,” McLellan said.
She has volunteered and fundraised for many organizations including the United Way, her children’s schools and the Daily Bread Food Bank.
McLellan is one of six candidates running in Ward 21 along with incumbent Mihevc, Marius Frederick, Alex Freedman, Peter Nolan and Shimmy Posen.