NEWS December 1st, 2014

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Burnside ‘excited’ to get to work

Ward 26 councillor was only candidate to topple incumbent on Oct. 27

Newly elected Ward 26 councillor Jon Burnside says he is excited to get to work on ward issues — but some constituents may be even more excited.

Burnside said ever since he was elected he’s been receiving 10–15 email messages a day from constituents telling him about an issue they want to see resolved.

Many of those messages were from people looking to meet and discuss local issues, which Burnside has obliged, having “three or four” meetings a day in November. But other people, he said at month’s end, didn’t know he wasn’t officially yet the councillor.

“A lot of them weren’t aware that I didn’t take office until Dec. 1, so I don’t have an office, staff or any standing at city hall,” he said during an interview in the rotunda at City Hall. “And people understand that.

“Everyone’s been very good.”

The 48-year-old former police officer and businessman was the only challenger to beat an incumbent on Oct. 27, ousting two-term councillor John Parker in Don Valley West.

Burnside said while challenges lie ahead, the difficulty so far has been the transition from one life to another.

“I think the most difficult thing has just been finding the hours in the day to transition out of my business and into life at city hall,” he said. “This month I sort of have a dual role — meeting a lot of people and tying up loose ends.”