Email messages from our Mayor Rob Ford to his supporters: Toronto.ca (If you want to be kept informed, visit the website and get yourself on the mailing list ... not just emails from the Mayor's office but also minutes,etc from the council meetings....wade through the City website to get to the specifics)
Highlighted areas below are my doing. You can see that our mayor is working hard on our behalf .... in spite of being surrounded by the circus clowns doing their juggling tricks 24/7 ... to distract him.
I am a bit disappointed with the 1.95% raise in our property tax from next year ... but have taken it in my stride. It's surprising how the value of Toronto's residential property keeps rising every year ... which ultimately reflects in the increase of the property tax.
November 19, 2012
Earlier this year, I spoke at the Economic Club of Canada about how we must work to create more job opportunities in Toronto. The unemployment rate in Toronto is higher than the national average and encouraging the private sector to create new jobs for Toronto residents will be a key focus of our new Economic Strategy. To grow the number of jobs in our City, it's important that we protect our "employment lands" -- areas of the city where businesses can grow and provide employment for residents.
The recent announcement that Mondolez Canada plans to close its Mr. Christie cookie plant in Etobicoke next year was a disappointing surprise for everyone. Last Monday, I met with senior executives of the company, along with Councillors Mark Grimes and Peter Milczyn, as well as City staff. We explained the importance of protecting this property as valuable employment lands for the City. I am happy to say we reached agreement with the company to work together, moving forward, to find a solution that protects the City's interest in the future use of the land while still helping the company achieve its business objectives.
On Friday , Toronto officially welcomed the Grey Cup at City Hall at the kick off of the 100th Grey Cup Festival this week. There are a number of fun-filled activities, great events and other attractions happening at City Hall and across the city all week. Even if you are not going to the Grey Cup game, I encourage you to try and get out and take part in this historic event. For more information on the Grey Cup events, you can visit www.100thgreycupfestival.ca.
December 7, 2012
Earlier this week, the Budget Committee began considering the City Staff's recommended 2013 Operating & Capital Budgets. In next year's budget, we will continue to manage your tax dollars with respect, taking the same fiscally prudent approach that has allowed us to get Toronto's spending under control, while continuing to provide excellent city services to residents.
Last year, we worked hard to keep spending in check and your taxes at the rate of inflation. We succeeded. In fact, we will spend less in 2012 than we did the year before, creating a stronger fiscal foundation for the 2013 Budget. The 2013 budget recommends that Council increase residential property taxes by 1.95% and that we maintain current service standards. And, we can do this without drawing on one-time surplus funds.
While there is plenty to celebrate in the 2013 Budget, we are not out of the woods yet. We have ended the unsustainable and unaffordable practice of using one-time, prior-year surplus funds to balance Toronto's operating budget. However, we are still drawing about $45 million from dedicated reserve funds to pay for some of our program expenses.
Our good fiscal practices since the 2010 election have been recognized by a number of bond-rating agencies. In October, DBRS confirmed Toronto's credit rating at AA, Stable. We earned the agency's continued confidence because of the permanent solutions we found to close the budget gap. However, DBRS has commented that Toronto still runs a deficit when all capital and operating budgets are considered together and more work needs to be done to keep spending under control.
In the 2013 Budget, we must keep the bond-rating agencies' warnings in mind. Some members of Council believe we should increase spending without having the money to cover the costs. If we are to maintain our good credit ratings, we simply can't spend beyond our means. We only have to look to the provincial government, whose credit ratings were downgraded this year, while Toronto's remain stable.
Budget Committee meetings will continue starting Monday next week at City Hall. I invite residents to visit www.toronto.ca/budget2013 and to provide your insight on the 2013 Budget Committee by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember to tune into NEWSTALK 1010 at 1:00 p.m. where we will be discussing the 2013 Budget.
Mayor Rob Ford