Four for Ford — the new mayor laid out four priorities for his first term in office Wednesday at a press conference. They are:
1. Customer service excellence: “Customer service will be job one,” Ford said. “Every e-mail, every phone call will be responded to.” He’s setting up a task force to enforce customer service standards across all city departments and arms-length agencies.
2. Make government transparent and accountable: Paul Ainslie, chairman of the government management committee, has been placed in charge of making this happen for “every taxpayer in the city”, Ford said. Most of the elements of the plan will be drawn from his Taxpayer Protection Plan, which called for citizen deputations at council meetings and fewer in-camera sessions.
3. Reduce the size and cost of government: “Toronto taxpayers do not want a larger budget and more spending,” Ford said. “They want city managers to find ways to deliver city services more efficiently and effectively.” Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday and Budget Chief Mike Del Grande will have a huge task making this work, along with City Manager Joe Pennachetti.
4. Create a Transportation City Plan: “For too long, the city has focused on transit only,” Ford said. He wants to expand that to motorists, commercial vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. Driving all new transit underground and killing the personal vehicle registration tax are key parts of this pledge.