Budget includes some service cuts
And 2012 budget outlook grim: city officials
(Written for Town Crier Feb. 24)
Mayor Ford talks to city hall media Feb. 23 about the budget. Town Crier file photo.
The good news is that city approved its 2011 operating budget today with a tax freeze.
However, the 2012 budget is already shaping up to be one that will involve hikes in TTC fares and property taxes and selling off city assets to fix the projected $774 million hole for next year’s budget.
But that’s a worry for another day.
Mayor Rob Ford was beaming after the passage of the first operating budget of his administration.
“This is a great day for the taxpayers of the city. For the first time in 11 years we passed a zero percent tax increase,” Ford told the media. “We campaigned hard and definitely slowed down the gravy train.”
Ford said not only did he attend the four public meetings on the budget with hundreds of deputations, but personally returns calls from Torontonians regarding their priorities.
“If you talk to the citizens out there, I am sure 99 percent of them are happy at not having to pay higher taxes,” he said.
The city passed the $9.381 billion gross budget with few amendments.
Councillor John Filion that did get one through with a 44-1 vote to increase the Toronto Public Health Budget with one-time provincial funding of $100,000. This money from the provincial Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is earmarked for a communication strategy to encourage HIV and Syphilis screening.
Mayor Ford was the only one to vote against this provincial money.
“Everyone says it’s provincial money. No it’s taxpayers’ money,” Ford explained his vote to the media.
Posted in Toronto News
Tagged 2011, 2012, budget, city, freeze, funding, Gord Perks, HIV, increase, John Filion, Kris Scheuer, Mayor, Mike Del Grande, province, Rob Ford, Syphilis, tax, Toronto, Town Crier, vote, zero
Councillor Filion’s ward has 100,000 people
City average is 58,000
So he wants city wide ward boundary review
(Written for Town Crier Feb. 3)
John Filion wants the city to redraw ward boundaries so the population is more evenly distributed for council representation.
And if it doesn’t happen soon, he’s looking at taking matters into his own hands.
A few years ago the Willowdale rep asked for a staff report on redrawing the 44 ward boundaries, but it never materialized. He expects a report this council term.
Filion has taken up the cause again because his ward is so densely populated.
His office represents 88,840 residents, according to city stats projections to 2009.
Filion said the current number is closer to 100,000 people. The city median is 58,776 residents per ward, so Filion represents almost double the average. Ward 23 is bounded roughly by Steeles Avenue, Bayview Avenue, Highway 401 and Bathurst Street. Continue reading
(Written for Town Crier Dec. 17)
Councillor John Parker voted to cut offices expenses.
Another stop on the gravy train has been eliminated as Mayor Rob Ford and council voted on Dec. 16 to cut councillor office budgets by over $20,000.
The vote was 40–5 in favour of reducing the expense accounts from $50,445 to $30,000, which will save a total of $899,580 a year.
“This reduction is highly symbolic of the will of Toronto city council to listen to the voice of the public and demonstrate leadership in fiscal restraint and respect for the taxpayer,” said Ford in a statement.
In 2009, when the office budget maximum was $53,100, Councillor John Parker was near the top that year, but voted to reduce the amount to $30,000.
One thing he’ll no longer be able to afford is his constituency office on Laird Drive, which cost over $7,000 in 2009 but he’s not mourning that loss.
“I live in the ward, so my front door is my constituency office,” he told theTown Crier. “It was more productive and satisfactory for me to meet with them in their homes, offices, factories.”
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged budgets, councillor, Denzil Minnan-Wong, expenses, Joe Mihevc, John Filion, John Parker, Josh Matlow, Karen Stintz, Kris Scheuer, Mayor, office, Rob Ford, Town Crier
Rob Ford elected new mayor
Some incumbent councillors lose
New faces on 45-member city council
Mayor-elect Rob Ford at the Town Crier's editorial board. Town Crier file photo.
Here’s a run down of the winners, upsets, and top place results for the Oct. 25 vote.
Of the possible 1,546,732 eligible voters, voter turnout was about 52.6 percent, which is up from the 2006 election with 39.3 percent.
RESULTS: Toronto here’s your new mayor and 44 councillors.
Are you pleased with the results for mayor and council seats? Please let me know…
Mayor-elect is Rob Ford with 383,501 votes for 47.11 percent followed by George Smitherman in second with 289,832 for 35.6 percent, according to the city’s website. Of course, 38 other mayoral candidates were on the ballot and results for each can be found here and may vary as the city updates the election results.
Here are the councillors-elect for all 44 wards with a list of each winner and closest runner-up. For a full list of all candidates votes in each race, click here.
Etobicoke-North Ward 1: Vincent Crisanti won with 40.75% of the vote ousting incumbent councillor Suzan Hall, who got 36.96%.
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged Adam Vaughan, Ana Bailão, Anthony Perruzza, Cesar Palacio, Chin Lee, council, David Shiner, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Doug Ford, Doug Holyday, election, Frances Nunziata, Frank Di Giorgio, Gary Crawford, Giorgio Mammoliti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Gloria Lindsay Luby, Gord Perks, James Pasternak, Janet Davis, Jaye Robinson, Joe Mihevc, John Filion, John Parker, Josh Colle, Josh Matlow, Karen Stintz, Kris Scheuer, Kristyn Wong Tam, Maria Augimeri, Mark Grimes, Mary Fragedakis, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Mayor, Michael Thompson, Michelle Berardinetti, Mike Del Grande, Mike Layton, night, Norm Kelly, Pam McConnell, Paul Ainslie, Paula Fletcher, Peter Milczyn, Raymond Cho, results, Rob Ford, Ron Moeser, Sarah Doucette, Shelley Carroll, Toronto, Vincent Crisanti