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How Accessible and Responsive Is Your City Councillor?

MetroMan

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I've grown incredibly frustrated with Joe Cressy in Ward 20. I feel that I have no representation at City Hall because it's near impossible to get a hold of my city councillor. Day to day issues such as lack of garbage bins to dog park rules to abandoned construction sites, all go unanswered. I once received a response for an email 8 months too late. Cressy doesn't answer his tweets. Tracking him down in person at an event usually leads to "I'll have my staff follow up with you" — spoiler: they often don't.

Meanwhile, city councillors like Mike Layton and Kristyn Wong-Tam are incredibly accessible. You can call them or email them and their offices will get back to you with a response and often a resolution of your problem. Best still, you can Tweet them and expect an almost immediate reply. In fact, I tweet Mike about ward 20 issues because it's the fastest way to get an answer. That's embarrassing for his buddy Joe.

Turns out my case isn't unique. Joe Cressy has gained a reputation for not responding to constituents. I've heard from neighbours who have been trying to resolve mundane issues but can never get a hold of our city councillor. He's the perfect stereotype of the councillor who made Rob Ford possible. To add insult to injury, I not only voted for Joe Cressy (after all, we share very similar ideology), I campaigned for him.

Who is your councillor and how accessible and responsive are they?
 

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My Councillor is Pam McConnell (Ward 28) and her office is generally very responsive and she and her constituency assistants are out at a huge number of neighbourhood events so it is fairly easy to actually talk to them face to face. Do I always get a speedy reply? No. Can her office solve every problem? Again no but they often can explain why some things are as they are. Today I wrote to ask why the fountain at Front and Market Lane is not working and can it be turned on/repaired soon, I got a reply within the hour and the reason is that the water for it comes via the North Market and that is being demolished so had to be turned off. Not what I wanted to hear but a very fast response with a reasonable reason.
 

mjl08

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In my experience, often the "lower profile" councillors are better constituency councillors. I've lived in both John Filion and Mary Fragedakis' wards. Both are pretty quiet in council, but I was impressed by both them and their staff when it came to addressing local concerns and the expediency in which they replied to my questions or comments.

It could also explain why so called "dead weight" councillors like Ron Moeser or Frank Di Giorgio have hung around for so long. They are probably adept at addressing bread-and-butter local issues like garbage pick-up.
 

MetroMan

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It could also explain why so called "dead weight" councillors like Ron Moeser or Frank Di Giorgio have hung around for so long. They are probably adept at addressing bread-and-butter local issues like garbage pick-up.
That makes sense. Cressy needs to find a balance or if he's too busy to respond to constituents, then assign staff to his twitter account or create one for the ward that replies to @joe_cressy tweets. But if they can't even handle emails, then how are they going to keep up with tweets?

I emailed Cressy's office early in the term because for some odd reason, every garbage bin along King West from Portland to Peter were removed and never put back. Months and months passed by without a single garbage bin for blocks and of course, trash accumulated near trees, in streetcar stops, etc. In addition to emailing, I started tweeting Joe Cressy but he never responded. Even when he was clearly online, having just tweeted, he was ignoring the tweets. It was maddening! Finally, I got a hold of him in City Council and was put in touch with his assistant who dug out my months long email and sent me a reply saying that garbage bins would be replaced when the street is rebuilt, in the Fall. Neither Cressy, nor his staff found it troubling that a major street with thousands of pedestrians per hour, had no garbage bin and would spend the summer without them. I proposed temporary trash bins but my reply fell back in the loop of ignored emails.

Another time, I emailed and tweeted about dog park rules that many owners in the park agreed needed to be changed but by the time I got a reply, 10 months later, I was told that the city had recently undergone a dog park review... Two months after I first emailed, but now eight months too late.

I gave Cressy the benefit of the doubt for being a new councillor, but it's his judgement that seems impaired. He doesn't seem to think that this is a problem. He hasn't attempted to fix his communications problems nor does he want to entertain modern feedback systems like Twitter and Facebook. I give up.
 

Videodrome

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Michael Thomson is my councillor and I only ever contacted him once, but I got a quick reply. He is on Twitter, but doesn't use it much.
 

Palma

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In my experience, often the "lower profile" councillors are better constituency councillors. I've lived in both John Filion and Mary Fragedakis' wards. Both are pretty quiet in council, but I was impressed by both them and their staff when it came to addressing local concerns and the expediency in which they replied to my questions or comments.

It could also explain why so called "dead weight" councillors like Ron Moeser or Frank Di Giorgio have hung around for so long. They are probably adept at addressing bread-and-butter local issues like garbage pick-up.
I can attess to that with Di Giorgio. Office is very responsive
 

animatronic

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My councillor is extremely responsive and looks after all my needs. He listens to my problems and comes up with solutions that go above and beyond his areas of responsibility. Justin di Ciano is truly an amazing asset. And I should know, since he's my brother.
 
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Thernan

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Mine is Justin Di Ciano and he is terribly unresponsive. I've waited for months for a response to an email to him to the point where the questions are now irrelevant since the infrastructure work I was asking about was completed.
 

animatronic

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Mine is Justin Di Ciano and he is terribly unresponsive. I've waited for months for a response to an email to him to the point where the questions are now irrelevant since the infrastructure work I was asking about was completed.
Did you ask him solve more than one problem at the same time? He finds ranked priorities confusing.
 

ShonTron

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Mine is Justin Di Ciano and he is terribly unresponsive. I've waited for months for a response to an email to him to the point where the questions are now irrelevant since the infrastructure work I was asking about was completed.
Justin Di Dunpar, Mark Grimes, and James Maloney (MP for Etobicoke Lakeshore) represent the worst of the Liberal Party. Hopefully you have a good alternative in 2018.
 

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