Staying In Touch – February issue

Staying In Touch – February issue

Happy Valentine’s versus February Blahs.

For some, this is the month for sweethearts, while for others it’s the February blahs. For me, it’s a little bit of both. Asarrow-through-my-heart the Budget Chair there is an ever so brief honeymoon period, followed by the difficult balancing act of keeping a whole lot of people happy.

New Year’s Day was a nice start to the year, joining the Mayor for his Family Skating Party at City Hall. Frankly, it was more of a challenge than meets the eye, with us both admitting it had been years since we donned our skates, and knowing it would be difficult to hide our rusty skills. For better or worse, we were in it together.

That theme continues as we launch the budget. The tone is very positive as we work together achieving our objectives. We will hold property tax increases below the rate of inflation, while at the same time providing new and enhanced services. I’m in daily meetings with the Mayor and we are ensuring that transit, poverty reduction, public safety & wellness, and funding the Scarborough Subway remain top priorities. There will be numerous opportunities for residents to be included in the budget process.  We are hosting public consultations across the City. In Scarborough, the formal consultation is being held at the Scarborough Civic Centre on February 3rd.

This month there are lots of great winter events around the City and in Ward 36. Winterlicious 2015 is a great experience for foodies. This year there are over 200 venues available to choose from. Many residents make an annual family fun outing with a trip to Scarborough Civic Centre or City Hall for free outdoor skating. The City also has ski and snowboard hills available at Centennial Park and Earls Bales Park. Closer to home, Acoustic Harvest presents a musical trio, Trent Severn, at St. Nicholas Church on Kingston Road, and our local Scarborough Village Theatre features “The World Goes ‘Round” from February 5th -15th.

We have had seven Extreme Cold Weather alerts this winter. These alerts are issued when the thermometer drops to minus 15, or below. During these times, and when there is a lot of snow, it’s good to check on your neighbours who may be more vulnerable.

Residents can utilize the 311 Call Centre for general updates on the status of winter road and sidewalk operations. The Call Centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may also email 311@toronto.ca. During the month of February, sidewalks are cleared of snow when there is an accumulation of 5 cm. In the event of a power outage, the direct customer care, emergency and power outage reporting line is 416-542-8000.

If you have any concerns that you believe should be addressed, please do not hesitate in contacting my office. My staff and I are here to assist: councillor_crawford@toronto.ca or 416-392-4052.

 

 

Dates to Remember

Upcoming meetings / consultations to look for:

Scarborough Waterfront Project: Toronto Regional Conservation Authority (TRCA) will hold public consultation in February on the Waterfront project. Date, time, and location to be announced

Budget Consultation: February 2, 2015 from 3:00 pm to 5 pm, also from 6pm onwards at the Scarborough Civic Centre, Council Chambers.

Scarborough Subway: Public meetings coming in early 2015. for more information on these meetings contact our office for dates.

Constituent meetings: Call to make an appointment.

Dates for the Community Drop-In at both Scarborough Village and Birchmount Community Centre will be announced as they become available.

Click here for our Bluffs Monitor Ad

Staying in Touch – January Issue

 

Happy New Year 2015

Happy New Year Ward 36!

It was really great to see so many of you joining in the season’s celebrations at my 5th Annual Tree Lighting. When Ward 36 gets together, we sure know how to have a good time! Many thanks to H.A. Halbert, Neil McNeil, St.Agatha, the Lion’s club, Variety Village, the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 13), the Boy Scouts, Master Corporal Pett and our wonderful Ward 36 community. Having Mayor John Tory helping us celebrate this year was an added bonus. Jaycob, who is 8 years old, already a political whiz-kid and one of my biggest supporters, made a bee-line for the Mayor. It’s not often that a politician pulls rank over Santa. Thank you everyone for making our event a great success!

Thank you as well for your numerous calls and e-mails supporting me in my new role as Budget Chair. I am honoured that Mayor Tory supported me. We have an excellent relationship and share the same philosophy in creating a fiscally healthy city. Keeping taxes at, or below, the rate of inflation while balancing the need to maintain and deliver important services will always be a priority.

As Budget Chair, I have hit the ground running having met with the Mayor, the City Manager and the Chief Financial Officer. I’ve also taken the opportunity to chat with a number of former Budget Chiefs. The conversations were relaxed and candid, and I enjoyed hearing their views on the position.

I held the first Special Budget meeting which included a budget orientation – a kind of Budget 101 – and we approved the schedule for February community consultations. There will be a Scarborough venue on February 3rd at the Scarborough Civic Centre.
I’m very pleased that my budget committee is comprised of a diverse group of talented individuals with a variety of opinions. Along with them, I pledge to deliver an inclusive and transparent budget.

While the hustle and bustle of the new term is in the air at City Hall, holiday preparations were equally apparent. Councillor Shelly Caroll, a member of the Budget Committee, launched an office decoration competition. We combined a dash of sass with our “rapping Santa”, and the simple elegance of hanging ornaments and snowflakes.

When it comes to the real snow, residents can utilize the 311 Call Centre for general updates on the status of winter road and sidewalk operations.The Call Centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may also email 311@toronto.ca. During the months of December and March, sidewalks are cleared of snow when accumulations reach 8 cm. During the colder months of January and February, sidewalks are cleared of snow when there is accumulation of 5 cm. Our City receives approximately 130 cm of snow each year, has 322 sidewalk ploughs and bus stop machines, 571 road ploughs and driveway machines, and 203 salt trucks.

In the event of a power outage, the direct customer care, emergency and power outage reporting line is 416-542-8000.

If there are local concerns that you believe should be looked into, please do not hesitate in contacting my office. My staff and I are here to assist: councillor_crawford@toronto.ca or 416-392-4052.

All the best for the New Year,

Gary

 

Mayor Tory to Join Councillor Crawford and Santa at this weekend Tree Lighting

Join the festivities this Sunday,December 14th, at Variety Village from 6pm – 7pm. We will have hot chocolate, candelight carolling and a special visit from Jolly Old St. Nick and our new Mayor. Bring your family and friends and let’s celebrate the season together.

Click here for official Press release

Councillor Crawford’s 5th Annual Community Tree Lighting

Need somewhere to kick off the Holiday Season? Come join me for my 5th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Sunday December, 14th at Variety Village (3701 Danforth Ave) from 6p.m. – 7p.m.

christmas-ornament

Councillor Gary Crawford appointed as Toronto’s Budget Chief

For Immediate Release

December 5th, 2014

Councillor Gary Crawford appointed as Toronto’s Budget Chief

Toronto – The Executive Committee has appointed Councillor Gary Crawford to assume the position of Budget Chief for the new term of City Council. As Budget Chief, Councillor Crawford will oversee the short, and long-term financial related activities of the City.

“I am honoured that Mayor Tory has recommended me to the position of Budget Chief. We have an excellent relationship and share the same philosophy in creating a fiscally healthy city while keeping taxes at, or below, the rate of inflation. It is my role as Budget Chief to ensure that his words and priorities get turned into tangible actions.

“The decisions I make will be inclusive and proactive. Mayor Tory’s One Toronto unites the city and makes us stronger and able to effectively tackle the challenges we face. When speaking with the City’s Division Directors, I will discuss best practices for effectively delivering a budget which prioritizes building SmartTrack, transit and gridlock, jobs, housing and service delivery. As always, there is a need to maintain balance, while getting things done for people.

“I will provide the Mayor with a review and briefing of budget recommendations. Included will be a pledge of transparency, and regular and timely communications from me.

“The next Budget Committee will be comprised of a diverse group, in terms of opinion and talent, who are all equally committed to contributing to the fiscal health of Toronto. I look forward to discussing their priorities for the City. We will not let ideology get in the way of good ideas”.

The Budget Committee’s mandate includes overseeing the Capital and Operating budgets as they are being developed, and reviewing matters which may significantly affect the City of Toronto budget.

“Making disciplined decisions, some of them very difficult, will be a vital role in the foundation for a prosperous future”.

Click to download the Official Press release

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For more information:

Gail Ross – Executive Assistant

Office of Councillor Gary Crawford

Ward 36 – Scarborough Southwest

Phone: Gail Ross 416-803-3576

Email: gross4@toronto.ca

City working hard to coordinate construction in the city

There is a myth that the City is not coordinating construction projects on our streets.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, the city has a strong coordination effort in place before any work ever takes place on the street. Outside factors such as the shortened construction season, work by outside agencies and the sheer volume of the work is more responsible for congestion we face every day.

One thing is certain: The city is facing an unprecedented amount of construction on our roads and it’s causing frustration for drivers. The city is updating a significant amount of its aging infrastructure including roads, bridges and watermains. Many of this infrastructure is reaching the end its service life and needs to be replaced. The work is critical.

And the City isn’t the only organization performing construction work in Toronto. Private companies are busy, too. The City is experiencing significant growth – especially in the downtown core – and this has led to a demand for increased services. A lot of the work that you see taking place is private construction which also adds stress to our roads as lanes of traffic are taken away to accommodate this work.

And it doesn’t end there. Organizations such as Enbridge, Toronto Hydro and telecom companies continue to add to their infrastructure. Since most of their infrastructure is buried under our roads, they need to cut into the roads to do their work. This often means lane closures and more pressure on our transportation routes.

In all, the pressure on our road capacity is intense.

But, instead of simply allowing work to take place wherever and whenever, the City has taken steps to plan the work in order to minimize disruption wherever possible.

Five years ago, the City established the Major Capital Infrastructure Coordination (MCIC) division that acts as a coordinating body for all groups – not just city agencies – that perform construction work in the city. MCIC connects with all groups to make sure that all long-tem work is coordinated and that all agencies are aware what other organizations are doing. Also, this coordination often enables work from different groups to be bundled together, avoiding having one organization going back to the same street and tearing it up again.

But the coordination doesn’t end there. Because of the sheer volume of the work and unforeseen circumstances at the time a project is scheduled, coordination is also required when work is ready to take place.

Here’s an example: A recent sinkhole has closed a road that runs parallel to the road where road reconstruction is planned to take place. Transportation Services staff would review the situation and make changes as necessary to make sure that work on the two roads is not done at the same time.

In this way, the City is able to get work done and at the same time, managing disruptions to the public wherever possible.

The city also looks at other ways to keep traffic moving effectively while all of this work occurs including accelerating construction projects when possible, implementing signal timing changes on parallel roads and limiting short-term work on nearby roads.

Despite all of these efforts, it is impossible to plan for the unexpected — emergency work. Sometimes a safety issue will result in a lane of traffic being closed temporarily. Unfortunately, delays are often inevitable in this case.

Clearly, the city faces a number of challenges in terms of getting all of the critical work done and accommodating other interests who want to use our roadways. And, while the city is making every possible effort to minimize disruptions, there is no denying that delays will occur. However, the city continues to take significant steps toward getting this work done effectively through its short term and long term coordination as it enhances our transportation network now and in the future.

Councillor Gary Crawford’s Summer 2014 Newsletter

The latest edition of Councillor Gary Crawford’s newsletter will arriving in your mailboxes shortly. If you would like a sneak peak of it, click here!

Temporary Road Closure–Scarborough Golf Club Rd. in Scarborough

This message is being posted on behalf of Go Transit for residents that reside on or near Scarborough Gold Club Road.

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GO Transit in conjunction with City of Toronto will be undertaking improvements to the Scarborough Golf Club Road railway crossing, located between Dale Ave. and Confederation Dr.. The work involves construction of the railway crossing, including replacement of track material and resurfacing of the asphalt pavement at the crossing and crossing approaches.

To facilitate the work, Scarborough Golf Club Road between Dale Ave. and South Entrance of Scarborough Golf and Country Club will be closed to through traffic from 7:00 pm June 20th (Friday) to 5:00 am June 25th (Wednesday), 2014.
Detour routes will be clearly signed.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience.
If you require any additional information, please contact GO Transit at

416-354-7757.

Thank you,
GO Transit

 

More information can be found here

Councillor Crawford and the City of Toronto’s 2014 Environment Day

Scarborough Southwest (Ward 36) Community Environment Day will be held on Thursday, June 12, 2014 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Birchmount Community Centre (93 Birchmount Road)

For more information click here