In morning news conference from his campaign headquarters, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford today touted his record of cutting costs at city hall and vowed to continue to find more savings if re-elected on Oct. 27.
During the morning news conference Ford:
- Promised to keep property taxes below the rate of inflation.
- Said more savings can be found in city departments he described as management-heavy. "In some divisions, we have one manager for every four employees. We can do much better than that."
- Chided council members for not doing more to save costs and said they're overspending using "bottomless" general expense budgets.
Ford also pointed to policies enacted since his election in 2010 that have kept costs down, including the elimination of the car tax and the privatization of garbage collection in the city's west end.
"I have a proven record of keeping property taxes low and creating jobs," he said.
Ford's agenda will require council support
Ford admits that continuing his cost-cutting agenda will require not only his own re-election this October, but also the election of a majority of councillors who support him. Ford said many of his plans to trim costs were voted down by left-leaning or centrist councillors in the last budget process.
"I do not support high taxes and big government," said Ford. "When I'm re-elected, they're going to hear my message. I am not a left-wing, NDP candidate."
Ford predicted this fall's municipal election will bring about 15 new members to council.
The mayor was also asked about an increasingly nasty public spat between his brother Coun. Doug Ford and police Chief Bill Blair. Yesterday Doug Ford apologized for comments he made earlier this month that suggested the police leaked information to the media about an impending subpoena of his brother. Blair served Doug Ford with a notice of defamation, prompting the councillor to apologize yesterday and retract his statements in front of television news cameras.
But Blair rejected that apology because it was not a statement pre-approved by Blair and his lawyer.
"My brother apologized, it was a sincere apology," the mayor said Thursday. "That's between my brother and the police chief."
Ford said he would hold more news conferences about his campaign platform at the rate of about one a week.