Carmichael Greb fo­cuses on sense of com­mu­nity

Toronto Sun - - NEWS - @LizBraunSun LIZ BRAUN lbraun@post­media.com

Christin Carmichael Greb swore she’d never get into pol­i­tics.

An eight-foot hole in her drive­way some years ago helped change her mind.

What it took to get that haz­ard cleaned up — four days of ap­peals to lo­cal politi­cians and util­i­ties peo­ple — left Carmichael Greb, 41, de­ter­mined to find a bet­ter way.

“I was ap­palled. That shouldn’t have to hap­pen,” she said in a re­cent in­ter­view. “We have to change how the city op­er­ates, to be more re­spon­sive to peo­ple who have is­sues like that.”

Han­dling is­sues just like that as city coun­cil­lor in Ward 8 — Eglin­ton Lawrence — is how Carmichael Greb has spent the last four years. She hopes to be re-elected next week. We spoke to her a few days ago as she can­vassed neigh­bour­hoods around Lawrence Ave. and Bathurst St.

She says she has al­ways been po­lit­i­cally in­clined, but worked be­hind the scenes on other peo­ple’s cam­paigns — help­ing her dad, John Carmichael, for ex­am­ple, former MP for Don Val­ley West. She never in­tended to run for of­fice her­self.

“Once I be­came a home­owner and learned more about what the city did, from a tax­payer’s and prop­erty tax­payer’s stand­point, I be­came the per­son on my street who got called to fix things for other peo­ple. Peo­ple of­ten don’t know what to do,” she said.

“We have 311 now, but still, if it’s a press­ing prob­lem, peo­ple don’t even know to call their coun­cil­lor, or who to call, and I wanted to change that.”

The mother of three is con­tent to op­er­ate at the mu­nic­i­pal level.

“I ran mu­nic­i­pally be­cause I didn’t want to be in­volved in party pol­i­tics. I wanted to be able to help every sin­gle per­son, no mat­ter what they be­lieved po­lit­i­cally. It’s about help­ing the res­i­dents. I have no in­ten­tion of climb­ing the po­lit­i­cal lad­der. I love what I do and I love help­ing peo­ple, and I be­lieve at the mu­nic­i­pal level you af­fect the most change.”

For ex­am­ple? “Say some­one doesn’t get their garbage picked up. We make a call, it’s picked up that af­ter­noon, and peo­ple are thank­ful for that. It’s not like fed­eral or provin­cial, which is more pol­icy based and doesn’t af­fect your ev­ery­day life.”

Carmichael Greb uses her busi­ness back­ground in pro­ject man­age­ment to serve her con­stituents. Her main goal, she says, is to make gov­ern­ment more re­spon­sive to res­i­dents, “so they know the money they pay in taxes is be­ing used wisely, ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently.”

She is the coun­cil ad­vo­cate for chief trans­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer Michael Kolm. The work un­der­way is to stream­line pro­ce­dures and pro­cesses in the city, and get things done quickly and ef­fi­ciently on be­half of all res­i­dents.

Said Carmichael Greb, “How do we trans­form our city gov­ern­ment to make it work for res­i­dents? That has not been done, and it has to be done, and we’re mak­ing progress on that.”

As for her cor­ner of the city, Ward 8 is big­ger now, and some days it seems most of it is un­der con­struc­tion.

“You have Lawrence Heights be­ing com­pletely re­de­vel­oped, and a lot of de­vel­op­ment on Duf­ferin and Lawrence. York­dale is also go­ing un­der an­other big de­vel­op­ment,” she said. “I have Yonge and Eglin­ton, too, with ev­ery­thing go­ing on there.”

Whether res­i­dents live east or west in the ward, says Carmichael Greb.

“I want them to know my fo­cus is mak­ing sure every­one knows they’re heard.”

C. GREB More re­spon­sive

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