2014 City Council Election: Ward 12 – York South-Weston

The Incumbent:

Frank Di Giorgio

The Race

Councillor Frank Di Giorgio narrowly won his last race over challenger Nick Dominelli. These opponents face off again in 2014 with new candidates including the well-known brother of Councillor Nunziata in the neighbouring ward. There are notable differences of opinion in taxation and transit expansion. It is good to see broad support for local job development and increased apprenticeship programs and youth mentorship.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Nick Dominelli

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Di Giorgio, Frank Yes to the operating budget and no to the capital budget.
    Nunziata, John Yes
    Olawoye, Lekan Did not specifically answer


  • Candidate Response
    Di Giorgio, Frank Control in growth of volume and delivery of more services.
    Nunziata, John Phase out Wheel Trans. Combining purchasing in all agencies and commissions.
    Olawoye, Lekan Eliminate duplications, waste, and red tape. Ensure projects are completed on time and on budget.


  • Candidate Response
    Di Giorgio, Frank Yes
    Nunziata, John Yes
    Olawoye, Lekan Will consider


  • Candidate Response
    Di Giorgio, Frank Will consider
    Nunziata, John Yes
    Olawoye, Lekan No


  • Candidate Response
    Di Giorgio, Frank Yes to a modest reduction
    Nunziata, John Yes to phasing out
    Olawoye, Lekan Must consider with other taxes


  • Candidate Response
    Di Giorgio, Frank Private enterprise should introduce new services and jobs through investment.
    Nunziata, John Reducing red tape and regulatory bureaucracy. Expanded convention centre for greater tourism. Reducing business taxes to create climate for job creations.
    Olawoye, Lekan Property training local opportunities like Metrolinx transit expansion. Youth mentorship program. Advocate for local businesses affected by Eglinton Crosstown construction. Support current and new Business Improvement Areas.


  • Candidate Response
    Di Giorgio, Frank Refine transit planning process. Under-used bus routes should be serviced by smaller buses or private enterprise.
    Nunziata, John Upper levels of government must step up to the plate to fund subways.
    Olawoye, Lekan Focus is to be a voice for residents and ensure the needs of Ward 12 are prioritized.


  • Candidate Response
    Di Giorgio, Frank Retain tight control over wage increases and peg the increases to inflation.
    Nunziata, John Negotiating team must be firm but fair. Civil servants need to assist with keeping labour costs in check.
    Olawoye, Lekan Make decisions on what is best for all residents in the city.


  • Candidate Response
    Di Giorgio, Frank Yes for example TTC service delivery, tree services on private property, and street cleaning.
    Nunziata, John Yes, in public transit, Wheel Trans, the planning process, expediting the building permit process by engaging the private sector to read plans.
    Olawoye, Lekan P3 models are highly complex and pose risks. Not supportive.


  • Candidate Response
    Di Giorgio, Frank New investment for revitalization and creation of jobs. Incentives for landlords to upgrade their buildings.
    Nunziata, John Unemployment and youth unemployment. Develop municipal apprenticeship system. Target job creation to disadvantaged communities.
    Olawoye, Lekan Lack of strong local leadership at City Hall.

 

The full responses

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Yes to the Operating Budget and no to the Capital Budget

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Greater control over the growth in the number of services offered by the City. The City tends to expand not only the volume of services but also the delivery of more services.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    Some reduction in the size of Council would be good and it would enhance the operation of Council.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    I believe that the garbage collection should be contracted out only if the public sector cannot keep costs within 15% of the private sector costs.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    Support modest reduction only.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    The creation of jobs is best handled by having the public sector limit new jobs to growth in existing service volume and having private enterprise introduce new services and jobs through new investment.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    Service routes that are poorly utilized should be serviced by smaller buses and possibly operated by private enterprise. Yes the current transit planning process must be refined.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Retain tight control over wage increases and peg the increases to inflation.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    Yes. Contracting out some of the TTC service delivery may be productive. Creating new jobs through contracting out service delivery related to trees on private property. Creating new jobs through contracting out street cleaning.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    The need for new investment to trigger revitalization and creation of jobs. Promote economic development strategies that include incentives for investment and incentives for reinvestment by landlords to upgrade their buildings.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Yes

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Now that every taxi in Toronto will be wheelchair accessible we can begin to phase out Wheel Trans. The city currently subsidizes Wheel Trans operating budget by $100 a year.Savings and efficiencies can be found by combining purchasing of all agencies and commissions.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    Yes, by 50% and yes it would make Council more functional.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Yes, if the private sector can provide an equal or better service I am in favour of outsourcing.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    Yes, I would support the phasing out of the tax as fiscal circumstances permit.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Reducing red tape and regulatory bureaucracy to allow businesses to create jobs. An expanded convention centre would provide for greater tourism. Making Toronto the music capital of the world. Ultimately, reducing business taxes will provide the climate for job creation.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    I support subways and upper levels of government need to step up to the plate. They have a direct interest in eliminating the gridlock which has a huge negative economic impact.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Ultimately the taxpayers will foot the bill. The negotiating team must be firm but fair. Civil servants as well as politicians need to step up to the plate and assist with keeping labour costs in check.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    Yes, public transit, Wheel Trans, the planning process, expediting the building permit process by engaging the private sector to read plans.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    Unemployment, youth unemployment. Developing a municipal apprenticeship system that will provide people with the skills to enter the workforce. Working with federal and provincial government to ensure the Canada Jobs Plan involves Toronto so that job creation can be targeted in certain disadvantage communities.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    It is essential to ensure that property taxes do not put additional strain on residents of Toronto, while balancing the need to invest in the infrastructure and services that will support strong, healthy communities. I have the right experience to manage a tight budget and ensure that tax payer dollars are spent responsibly and cost-effectively.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    I will work with City staff and my fellow Councillors to eliminate duplications, waste and red tape, and ensure that projects are completed on time and on budget. I believe that you can achieve good fiscal management in the city budget while continuing to provide the community infrastructure and services that make Toronto such a great city to live and raise a family in.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    As a Councillor, I would considered every proposal that could improve how Council operates, and I would guided by what is best for my constituents.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    No. Our city has a role to play in making sure our services are reliable, effective and efficient.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    I believe that this decision can’t be made in isolation. I would work tirelessly in the City budget process, including listening to my constituents’ concerns, to find ways to balance the City budget and make changes to currently taxes as appropriate.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Good local paying jobs and a vibrant business presence help build a strong community. It allows youth to gain experience, enables families to pay the bills and provides the neighbourhood with a variety of goods and services. To create more local opportunities and thriving businesses we need three key elements: proper training for local opportunities, mentorship and strong advocacy.

    I will: · Advocate for more job training in Ward 12, including training for jobs related to the Metrolinx transit expansion in York South-Weston
    · Create a youth mentorship program so youth in the community have access to skill-building and networking opportunities · Champion York South-Weston as a welcoming place for business development · Speak up for local businesses affected by the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT · Ensure local businesses have access to municipal, provincial and federal funding and services · Support the Eglinton Hill Business Improvement Area (BIA) and new local BIAs to beautify the community with cost-matching funds from the city

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    Toronto needs to get moving. Transit is an important issue overall in city, and it is no different in Ward 12. We are so far behind in transit improvements and infrastructure that the safety of our community is in jeopardy. As a resident of Ward 12, I understand the deficiencies and difficulties with transit in the community and my focus is to be a voice for residents and ensuring that transit issues in Ward 12 are prioritized.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Put people before politics. Make decisions based on what is best for all residents of the city.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    Our most complex challenges require the collaboration of the public, private and not-for-profit sector. No single sector has a monopoly on good ideas or good execution. That being said, P3 models are highly complex and pose real risks with questionable benefits. While many politicians find it tempting on the surface, I’m not willing to pursue short term benefit for long term costs.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    The biggest issue is that Ward 12 does not have strong local leadership at City Hall. The people of Ward 12 work hard. We need a City Councillor who will work just as hard as the residents do in order to improve the community. My Service Pledge outlines my vision for supporting my constituents every day.