We'll make it work: Joe Mihevc

Left-leaning Ward 21 councillor says he's willing to cooperate with the mayor-elect Rob Ford

Despite a marked difference in political ideologies, longtime St. Paul’s councillor Joe Mihevc said he is determined to work with mayor-elect Rob Ford on council.

On Election Day, the Ward 21 rep breezed back into council seat beating out five opponents with 56 percent of the vote.

Although he won his own seat back, the left-leaning Mihevc was undoubtedly disappointed when it was announced that right-leaning Rob Ford had been elected mayor. Though it was expected that Mihevc would support council colleague Joe Pantalone for the mayor’s seat, Mihevc endorsed George Smitherman in the waning days of the campaign to try and beat out Ford.

Days after the election, Mihevc insisted he will make things work on council.

“Those of us who clearly endorsed other candidates have to appreciate that we have a new mayor in town and that democracy chose our mayor,” Mihevc said. “At the same time, democracy has also spoken and chosen a council to balance that (mayor’s) perspective.

Mihevc may have his work cut out for him. Ford was against the St. Clair Right-of-way project and endorsed buses and more subways. Mihevc was a huge supporter of the Right-Of-Way and Transit City. But, Mihevc says, he and Ford both know each other’s angles from council meetings and previous work together.

“Ford and I sat beside each other at council and he knows that I’ll agree when I agree and disagree when I disagree. It’s as simple as that.”

Now that the election is over, Mihevc is re-focusing his efforts on ongoing and proposed projects.

“With Ford in office, we need to continue building on local city initiatives,” Mihevc said. “There’s a lot of TTC work to finish, waterfront projects to get done, park revitalization initiatives and we have to make sure that these projects don’t get killed.’

Mihevc said he’ll keep pushing for the Eglinton Crosstown light rail project.

“We have to focus on some local items like such as the Cedarvale ravine. I have been working on a skating rink behind Phil White Arena for a couple years now.”

He also wants to work with the council to ensure all green projects continue as planned.

Mihevc’s also focused on how he will approach the concerns of his community and the city of Toronto – especially when it comes to revitalizing St. Clair’s avenue.

Many businesses are upset with the delayed construction and lack of parking along St. Clair.

“Now it’s a matter of selling the area. We have to pitch the community, businesses, and area. Let everyone learn that St. Clair Avenue is a great street. It’s a great street to walk through, shop on, to live on and we need to bring back the traffic.”

About this article:

By: Christopher Sa'd
Posted: Nov 3 2010 2:49 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto