Dear friends and neighbours in Ward 13,
For the past eight years I have had the tremendous honour of representing you as your City Councillor. It has been a joy to work with you, the residents of the Junction, High Park, Bloor West Village, Baby Point, Warren Park, and my own neighbourhood of Swansea.
As a team we have worked together to protect what is important to our community, and bring in new tools and features to improve our ward. From our first fights to save the High Park Zoo and rebuild the Jamie Bell Castle Playground, to our recent work creating safe school zones across the ward, implementing the Bloor West Avenue Study, High Park Character Study, and the upcoming Bloor West and Junction Heritage Conservation Districts we have been at our greatest when we work together to achieve what’s best for our community.
When I decided to run for office over eight years ago, it was because I wanted to make a difference in the day-to-day lives of our community. I have always been a Councillor that prefers to help solve the problems on the street, rather than sit in committee rooms discussing policy. As we move towards the 25 ward system, I am sad to think that the hands-on community activity must be replaced, as Councillors’ roles will have to focus primarily on city wide issues, with the day-to-day operations being left to staff. With the role of Councillor changing I had to decide where my heart lies.
I knew I could not leave our community without the representation it deserves. It is clear to me that having my friend and colleague Gord Perks at City Council is essential to help the City to move forward in the right direction. Gord as an experienced and progressive City Councillor, will be able to finish the important projects we have started, help grow our inclusive and exciting vision of our community, all the while standing up for the residents of our City in this time of great change.
For that reason, upon much reflection, I have made the difficult decision not to run for re-election under the 25 Ward system. I want to thank all those that have reached out to me over the past year to show their support, offering a donation, to take a lawn sign, or to help knock on doors. I want to thank the brilliant residents I have had the honour of working beside over the past eight years as we build our community. Finally, I want to thank Ward 13 as a whole for being the best place to represent in the City of Toronto.