In a direct appeal to centre-right voters, Rocco Rossi is promising fiscal responsibility if elected mayor, including outsourcing city services, removing politicians from overseeing the TTC, and killing planned bicycle lanes along major routes such as Jarvis Street.

In his first major campaign speech to a crowd of 600 at the Empire Club, which included many supporters, some sporting buttons, Rossi said the city needs to focus on fixing finances, fixing the transportation system and attracting new economic growth.

Taking a shot at his rivals in the Oct. 25 race to replace Mayor David Miller — who include longtime politicians such as deputy mayor Joe Pantalone, former deputy premier George Smitherman, and undeclared candidate Adam Giambrone, chair of the TTC — Rossi focused on his non-politician status.

“Public service is a calling, not a career,” said Rossi, who has worked as business executive, run a non-profit foundation and recently served as national director of the Liberal Party.