For once, the residents of Toronto have come to expect extreme efficiency from their Municipal Government, and who can blame them, this isn't the same useless David Miller regime who got absolutely nothing done over 2 terms, didn't return any phone calls from Torontonians, spent taxpayer money recklessly and lined their own pockets via untendered contracts to their friends. No, this is the Rob Ford era here in Toronto, and that means the exact opposite: Projects get done on time and as per budget, phone calls always get returned, taxpayer money is watched closely with an eagle eye and untendered contracts are eliminated.
So given this massive 180 degree turnaround in Municipal responsibility, efficiency and accountibility, it's completely understandable why even though Mayor Rob Ford accomplished his following promises within 25 days in office:
1. Eliminated City Councillor Free Meals at Council Meetings
2. Eliminated the Personal Vehicle Tax
3. Chopped Councillor Expense Budgets from $50,000 to $30,000
4. Chopped the Mayor's Expense Budget
4. Got City Council to Approve Declaring the TTC an Essential Service (now pending approval from Dalton McGuinty)
5. Raised the prospect of Eliminating the 5-cent Toronto Plastic Bag Fee (not a promise, but still worth mentioning)
Torontonians are still upset and question why he hasn't done anything to stop the proposed Garbage Tax and Water Rate hikes coming to Toronto in 2011.
Relax Toronto, he's been on the job for 25 days and he's already done more for Torontonians than former Mayor David Miller did in his entire 2 terms as Mayor! He even stayed by the phone during the Christmas and New Year's holidays answering taxpayer calls (imagine, that would have been the day to see David Miller, or Adam Giambrone or Adam Vaughan or Gord Perks, or Paula Fletcher or Sandra Bussin or Pam McConnell or Joe Mihevc or Shelley Carroll make that kind of sacrifice) for Toronto.
He will get to it, just give him the opportunity!
Here's the story from the Toronto Sun:
Ford's got the pedal to the metal
Looking back on his first weeks in office, Mayor Rob Ford crows that he’s saved taxpayers close to $70 million.
“We’ve got rid of the car registration tax which I said I would do as soon as I got into office and I did that,” Ford told the Sun in a year-end interview.
“I said I’m going to cut down the expenses of the councillors and my own budget, I’ve done that. I said I’d get rid of the free food and we’ve gotten rid of that.
“I’m saving the taxpayers a lot of money, I’m going to continue to do that in the years to come,” he added.
Ford bristled at the suggestion the proposed hikes for garbage and water rates in 2011, is in effect, a tax hike on Toronto residents.
“It’s not fair because I haven’t even been able to deal with garbage,” Ford said. “In 25 days I’ve done more than any mayor has in seven, eight years.
“The garbage fee will be taken care of when I contract out garbage. This year I just haven’t had time to do it. I can’t abolish something that I haven’t had time to work with,” he said.
“In 25 days, I’ve worked 14-15 hours a day, reading documents, getting briefed by staff, I’ve done a lot.”
Ford said he could have tackled garbage and water rate hikes first but people pushed him to kill the personal vehicle tax.
“People said, no, no, let’s deal with the (car tax) first and foremost. Let’s get your expenses under control. I did everything I can do,” Ford said.
“I’ll be dealing with the water next year, I’ll be dealing with the garbage next year, you can’t deal with it all in the first 25 days.”
So you've heard it directy from the Mayor himself. Have patience Toronto, and I don't mean the kind shown for former Mayor David Miller and his regime of uselessness. I mean the genuine kind that you can show when you actually trust your Mayor.
I know Torontonians -and Ontarians for that matter- have serious Political Trust Issues (or Battered Voter Syndrome as I like to call it), and who can blame them thanks to David Miller and Dalton McGuinty? I completely understand... But give Ford a chance; He's done nothing but show you why you can trust him 25 days into the job.
PS: Remember, if you want to blame anyone for the Garbage Tax and Water Rates going up in 2011, look no further than former Toronto Mayor David Miller. We all know his record on Garbage with the Unions (our childrens' parks are still in rehab from the Miller-garbage-strike), and as for Water, it was the Miller regime who instituted these annual Water Rate hikes.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozziebackpacker/303218281/sizes/o/in/photostream/ by ozziebackpacker on flickr