Entrepreneur chasing Ward 32 seat

[attach]1973[/attach]Frustration with city council and a desire to improve Toronto pushed Kieron Pope to run for Ward 32.

“I’m motivated by my sense of responsibility to try and do better than what’s been done,” Pope said.

The 51-year-old Beach resident said he wants to see a clear account of where the city is at financially and would make it his priority to provide one if elected.

“I think we’re drifting,” he said. “We have to get a handle on where the city is and we have to have some direction and definition on where we want the city to be.”

He also criticized councillors’ spending, adding that more responsibility is needed.

Councillors should be spending their budgets “like it was coming out of their own pocket because it’s coming out of mine,” he said.

Pope has owned a printing company in Markham for six years. He said this experience gives him skills to be a good councillor – responsibility, decision-making and accountability – but also insight into business owners’ concerns.

“I don’t think Toronto presents itself as a business-friendly city,” Pope said.

He said he would also ensure that development in an area like The Beach or East York, which he thinks doesn’t have a lot of open space for new development, blends well with the existing character.

Pope also said he is disappointed with previous low voter turnout and wants more people to be engaged in municipal politics.

But he said his main priority is the financial health of Toronto.

“Finances are the foundation of what we do in the city,” Pope said.

He said he thinks the city has sufficient revenue to provide core services and remain financially prudent.

“I don’t think our sense of social responsibility needs to be at the expense of fiscal responsibility,” he said.