Stintz says no to run for mayor

[attach]961[/attach]Karen Stintz is no longer considering a run for mayor.

But she says she has no shortage of priorities to tackle if she’s re-elected as councillor.

“It looks like it will be a crowded playing field running for mayor,” says Stintz, who had openly mused about running for the top job. “I can best serve in another way by promoting new ideas and getting issues discussed.”

Stintz is in her second term as a city councillor in Eglinton-Lawrence’s Ward 15 and has carved out a place for herself as one of the main spokespeople for the Responsible Government Group, which formed in opposition to Mayor David Miller.

With Miller not running again, it will be a wide-open race though few have declared their intentions yet.

Stintz says she would like to focus her political energies on getting a subway built along Eglinton Avenue that links to the airport and tackling the parks repair backlog if re-elected.

“For sure Eglinton needs to be a subway (line) and it needs to go to the airport,” says Stintz. “The Spadina-York subway has been stalled so we to get that connected.”

On the parks front, she recognizes there are ongoing investments in green space but notes there’s a growing backlog.

According to the city’s auditor general, the capital backlog for parks, forestry and recreation will grow from $233 million in 2008 to $600 million by 2018 despite an investment of $400 million in those 10 years.

“We have to come up with a strategy to tackle the parks backlog,” says Stintz, a member of the parks and environment committee.

Also top of mind is enticing business back to the Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue area.

Though the 2010 election is still a year away, Stintz says she’s expecting some competition for her seat.

“I think there will be interest in running for the seat I hold,” she says.

Stintz was first elected in 2003, garnering 42.9 percent of the vote to incumbent councillor Anne Johnston’s 30.6 percent. In 2006,

Stintz did even better, winning 64.5 percent.

In that race, Stintz collected $45,000 in campaign contributions from individuals only, declining any from unions and corporations. The city is expected to debate the issue of election finance reform this year, in time for council to make a decision before the 2010 election.

“Incumbents already have a community on which to draw on,” she says. “We want to make sure we don’t disadvantage people who want to get elected.”

Stintz lives in the ward with husband Darryl Parisien and their two young kids, 5-year-old Jackson 3-year-old Hailey.

“I don’t think I am different from any other working parent,” says Stintz. “You need to have a job that challenges and inspires you.

“You want to feel you are doing something meaningful at work when you are away from your family because the job does take you away from them.”