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Rob Ford starts first day as mayor

TORONTO, Ont. – Mayor Rob Ford took the reins of City Hall, Wednesday, and as promised in his campaign, slammed the brakes on Transit City.

Ford’s day began with a meeting with TTC general manager Gary Webster.

“I just wanted to make it quite clear that he understood that Transit City is over and the war on the car is over, and all the subway expansion is going underground,” he said.

“We’re going to build subways, I was elected on that mandate, [I’m going] to deliver my promise to the taxpayers that subways will be built in this city.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Ford told 680News political affairs specialist John Stall, “people do not want streetcars and we’re going to start building subways, and we’re going to start right now.”

Ford’s plan to kill transit city has already coming under fire from some city councillors.

Ward 31 Councillor Janet Davis said the Mayor has no right to disband the city’s transit plan.

“The mayor does not have the unilateral right to declare an end to Transit City.” Davis told 680News.

And Councillor Adam Vaughan said cancelling transit city could be complicated and costly.

“Whether council gets a say in that or not, well wait and see. How he does it is really up to him. And then the penalties.  The penalties could be quiet substantial.” said Vaughan.

Ford has not released any details on how the building of subways would proceed or what happens to the money already spent on Transit City.

Also on the list of the new mayor’s plans, he said he will move to eliminate the car registration tax at the first council meeting, taking effect January 1, 2011.

Ford also outlined four priorities including customer service excellence and make government transparent and accountable, and cutting councillor expense accounts.

The mayor says Toronto taxpayers do not want a larger budget.

“There will be no tax increases next year.  There will be no major service cuts next year.” said Ford.

Ford spent his first day as mayor visiting the offices of city councillors.

The swearing-in ceremony takes place on Tuesday, Dec. 7, but Ford has the legal authority as of Wednesday to speak and sign on behalf of Toronto.

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