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The main issues I will tackle

Just before I discuss the future, I want to thank everyone for their encouragement and support. I am honoured to be your councillor.

Although I have been busy meeting constituents, other councillors and city staff, the last few weeks being a period of transition, I’m ready to hit the ground running with my team in place.

What are my priorities in the ward — and specifically in Leaside — for the next four years? First and foremost, I am committed to being personally responsive to your needs and running an office whose priority is you.

As I set out to hire my staff my key criterion was the understanding that our job is to serve you. To that end, I will be putting in the necessary procedures and protocols to ensure a 24-hour callback. While we may not be able to solve your issue that quickly, we can certainly let you know that we’re on it!

Development and traffic are the most important local issues that I will tackle head on. Over the past few months I knocked on thousands of doors and was told very clearly and very loudly that you want action and you want to be involved in the process.

Early in the New Year I will create traffic working groups in both North and South Leaside. I am looking for 10-12 people for each group who represent a cross section of opinions as well as street diversity. Community safety must be our overriding priority, but any changes we make will almost certainly impact convenience of travel throughout the neighbourhood so it’s imperative that the community is involved every step of the way.

The number of current and anticipated development applications in Ward 26 is staggering and we must stop lurching from crisis to crisis. It’s time that we formulate a vision for our community that includes traffic control, green space and proper educational and recreational facilities.

I will be setting up a development working group as well. I hope to include city staff, developers and constituents from all corners of the ward. I believe that we can have the greatest control of our destiny and get the best outcome possible if we engage all concerned parties at the beginning of the process (instead of near the end).

I will be reaching out to Metrolinx the first week of December as the increased traffic in both North and South Leaside, resulting from LRT construction, has not been addressed. It needs to be – immediately!

I look forward to connecting with you in the days and months ahead. If you’d like to be involved in any of our working groups or would like to share your ideas or concerns please feel free to email me at jon@jonburnside.com while I wait for my City of Toronto email address.