A new start for Cliff Jenkins

The outgoing vet councillor of Ward 25 has hinted he might head back into the IT field

Cliff Jenkins isn’t spending much time licking his wounds after his election loss.

After the election in which he barely lost his council seat to newcomer Jaye Robinson, he took a week’s vacation. But Jenkins was still doing the grunt work of addressing problems of potholes, missed garbage pick-ups and ailing trees in the final weeks of his job as local municipal representative.

“Calls are still coming and we are dealing with them,” said Jenkins Nov. 15. “I’m still going out and taking staff out to the street to deal with issues.”

As for his future post-city hall, Jenkins is one ousted councillor who likely won’t be sitting around looking for work.

In November, he declined to say where he’d be employed once his councillor job is over, but hinted it would likely be in the IT field.

“I can’t say what it is (yet). It plays on my previous work in information technology.”

Prior to his election in 2003, Jenkins was a high school math teacher briefly before embarking on a long career with IBM Canada.

Jenkins didn’t rule out another municipal election run down the road, and hinted at work in other levels of government.

“Certainly people have approached me on the topic. People have asked me. There are opportunities,” he said.

Jenkins said he’s proud of the work he’s accomplished at city hall. He pushed for big reforms, helping to lead the charge to ban corporate and union campaign donations in Toronto elections.

“It was hard work. A lot of those (politicians) were dragged kicking and screaming on this,” he said of the vote.

Another hard fought vote was for phase two of Cadillac Fairview’s Don Mills redevelopment. When a proposal came to council last fall it was deferred for more consultation, when a revised application came back this spring it was approved.

“In the end it was a good settlement,” he said, of the $17 million community centre the community is receiving in the deal.

He’s also proud of a new walking and cycling trail on the CN spur line that’ll be ready by next year, plus a new park in York Mills Valley.

Jenkins pushed unsuccessfully for years for increased development charges to help pay for more of the infrastructure necessary to accommodate additional residents. Instead, Mayor David Miller froze development charges. Mayor-elect Rob Ford hasn’t supported increasing development charges, but Jenkins hopes he’ll change his mind.

One issue Jenkins and Ford do see eye to eye on is reversing the vehicle and land transfer taxes. Jenkins voted against both taxes and is confident the new council can repeal them.

“I think it will be easier to do than people think. It’s less than $300 million (in revenue). We have found that kind of savings by tightening the screws,” he said.

On election night, Robinson got 45.49 percent while Jenkins garnered 43 percent with 502 votes separating them.

In 2006, he won handily by more than 5,000 votes over his closest competitor Tony Dickins. Back in 2003, when Jenkins was first elected he won by 80 votes over Robinson, making the recent election a rematch.

About this article:

By: Kris Scheuer
Posted: Nov 24 2010 3:20 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto