Published Friday, September 24, 2010 3:00PM EDT
Where Rossi stands on the Big 8 issues facing Toronto:
1. Transit City is an important and controversial part of Toronto. What are your thoughts on the proposed plan?
"We need more investment, not less in public transit, but the mayor's vision is not Transit City, it's ‘Streetcar City' and I want to make sure we have a balanced approach that includes subways. We've not demonstrated ability to manage large projects, which is why I've said we need to replace the board of the TTC and put a skills based private sector board in charge."
2. Bike lanes have become a topic in the last few weeks. Do you plan on implementing them on Jarvis, University and the other locations?
"I'm an avid cyclist, have been all my life and I cycle at least ten months of the year, but I'm also a realist. I don't believe we should be extending bike lanes on major arterials like Jarvis and University when you have viable options on safer secondary streets nearby. But we definitely need an expanded, interconnected network of bike lanes on the safer secondary streets."
3. How do you feel about the idea of charging road tolls?
"Road tolls are the last solution we should be looking at because quite frankly City Hall isn't managing the current money they've been given well. So don't talk to me about another tax until you've shown me that you know how to manage the dollars wisely."
4. What "big idea" do you have that will be part of your platform?
"I've said if you're looking for money quickly to be able to invest in the important infrastructure that we need, then we should be trying to eliminate the debt and that would free up 450 million dollars every year. That would enable us to be a real partner with the province to build out a true Transit City and not just ‘Streetcar City.'"
5. How do you feel about the crime level in Toronto? Do you plan on addressing it?
"There's no question crime remains a problem, but let's not over blow it either. On virtually every measure, crime statistics are down for the city of Toronto and I want to salute Chief Blair and the officers that do such a great job day in and day out. That said there are communities where certain crimes are up and sadly these are also communities that are vulnerable, at risk, pressed for an economic standpoint. So much more work needs to be done there. We need more of a police presence, on a community policing bases in these neighbourhoods. "
6. How do you plan on bringing "new life" to the city? (ex: people, business, events, parades etc.)
"What I can promise is a mayor who is going to be a real catalyst and cheerleader for brining together the private sector the arts community and the other levels of government to help us continue to build out the great entertainment and culture that gives so much vibrancy to the city of Toronto."
7. How important is accountability while you are in office and how do you plan on monitoring this?
"I'm someone who has run businesses. I've run a family business, I've run private companies, I've run a privately traded company and I've run one of Canada's largest and I know about accountability. I know about balancing budgets and taking care of money and I believe that kind of experience is exactly what the city needs to bring the transparency, the accountability and the assurance that tax payers have that their money is being respected and that their getting value for their money."
8. What are your plans for the city's budget including property taxes?
"We have to do a far better job of running the City's money. We need to plan long term. We can't be planning a 9.2 billion dollar budget one year at a time. It needs to be transparent. People need to be confident about the numbers and tax payers want to know they're getting value for their money."