Mississauga Mayoral Candidate: Stephen King
During the mayoral campaign, insauga.com will sit down with all the candidates that choose to do so.
For the first time in over three decades, Mississauga is set to experience a truly unpredictable mayoral race. Hazel McCallion, who has been mayor since 1978, has decided to pass her long-held municipal torch onto someone else, and the race is just starting to heat up. Today we chat with Stephen King.
What prompted you to run for office? Have you ever been involved in politics before?
For many years I have considered entering my name to run for Mayor of Mississauga and now the time has come for very specific reasons. I have lived in Mississauga since my honorable release from the Canadian Armed Forces in the early eighties and I love my city. I raised my children in this city and where we decide to raise children means something. Unfortunately, the past few years in Mississauga have not been so good. Our taxes are extremely high and things are not getting done. When I looked at those who were deciding to run for mayor, I was not impressed and did not see hope for the future. I saw same old same old people that were part of the problem. When I see councillors receiving $17,000 car allowances and spending tax dollars on Royal Canadian Legion memberships to promote themselves something is wrong. When I see our once prosperous and debt-free city now many millions in debt with a plan, an actual plan, to be over $450,000,000 in debt in nine years, I know something is wrong and it needs to change. Yet the so called “experienced” team members that are already there and wish to stay there have absolutely nothing to say about the problems facing us.
What about affordable housing?
What about the hungry?
I have decided to run for mayor because it is time. The people of Mississauga need a mayor who will listen to the people and put them first.
What’s your platform?
My platform is very direct and simple. It can be seen at www.stephenking.ca/issues
You will see that I am not in favor of the LRT. It is said this will help gridlock but this is simply not true.
Today we have approximately 24,000 cars per day using six lanes on Hurontario, but if we put in the LRT as planned, we will lose two lanes and have only four lanes for 24,000 cars. Gridlock will be a nightmare on Hurontario. This will then cause thousands to use alternate routes such as residential side streets east and west of Hurontario. only making matters even worse. We need intelligent transit plans that will actually solve problems, not make them worse.
I have stated that I want to freeze the wages of the mayor and council and lead by example.
We need to be far more fiscally responsible with tax payer dollars and stop flushing money down the drain.
We need to have a plan that doesn’t see us falling further and further into debt.
We need to address the 21 year wait list for affordable housing and address why a single person with affordable housing is in a four-bedroom home.
We need to plan smarter and implement quicker. Just recently, I read an article that said Lisgar residents that had flooding issues cannot get their issues addressed and this has turned into a 200 million dollar class action law suit against the city. This is just wrong!
Councillor ward budgets are deliberately inflated in my opinion, and they need to be reduced.
If people at the top don’t manage properly then this bad behavior cascades down and results in where we are at today. This all has to change!
What are the top three issues you’d want to address if you were elected mayor? Why are those issues most important to you?
The LRT because this will only cause problems for everyone and will fix nothing. We need to address gridlock and transit together without either having a negative impact on the other.
Finances. We need to start to apply simple business principles to the running of the city. There are no excuses for the irresponsibility that has gone on with the handling of our tax dollars.
Jobs, jobs, jobs. We need to sustain and help create jobs that provide a living wage in the city of Mississauga.
What major challenges lie ahead for the city, and how would you address them as mayor?
We are out of money. I have heard over and over about how much people are upset with tax increases and that this is top of mind with everyone and I agree with them.
Taxes are a huge issue that the mayor and city council will have to address. We need to find ways to keep delivering the services we provide today without increasing taxes.
Inefficiencies need to be eliminated. As a city we need to look at what and how we provide services. We need to be efficient so that we can deliver on promises without going further into debt and without increasing taxes.
Another huge issue? Getting our fair share from the province! It's no secret that we don’t and this has to change.
How would you set yourself apart from Hazel?
Wow, such a loaded question. Hazel has served this city for more than three decades. She is in her nineties and has only just now decided that she will retire. What an act to follow.
I will say this though, I will be open and honest. If I am asked a question, I will give a direct answer.
If I don’t know the answer I will say I don’t know the answer but I will get it for you. I will work for the people of this city tirelessly and with dedication.
I am not Hazel and I will not try to be Hazel. I will be myself.