Sellors a candidate to replace retiring by Coun. Walker
Walker endorses his former assistant Sellors for Ward 22
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March 25)
Chris Sellors has decided to step out of the shadow of Councillor Michael Walker and try to take over Ward 22 from his retiring his former boss.
“I will take his methods and build on them,” said Sellors, who started volunteering with Walker in 1997 and has the councillor’s endorsement. “I will remember what he has taught me, but I am my own man.”
Sellors was hired as the constituency assistant for the St. Paul’s councillor back in 2001 and became Walker’s executive assistant in 2005.
“I was over the moon,” said Sellors. “I was so honoured.”
It was just two weeks before September 11, 2001 and at the time Walker’s office pushed for better coordination between the city and other levels of government and security on emergency preparedness.
Walker is known as a man of many motions and Sellors has constructed many of them in collaboration with the councillor. This includes motions pushing the federal government to ratify the Koyoto protocol or for Toronto to establish a lobbyist registry.
But most of the grunt work of a councillor and his staff is addressing inquires about snow removal, garbage pick-up, traffic, road repairs and developments.
Sometimes these communications forge important connections such as one with former prime minister John Turner, who is a constituent and called the office about a traffic issue.
“Three months after starting with Michael Walker, I was sitting in … John Turner’s living room talking about a traffic issue,” said 35-year-old Sellors.
Turner is now a confidant and has endorsed Sellors as a candidate in this race. Sellors is passionate about many local and city issues and is pushing to protect the privately-owned open space at Yonge and Eglinton and for a subway rather than LRT across Eglinton.
“All across the city we need to protect the city’s private and publicly-owned open space,” said Sellors. “You need places so people can congregate and meet or otherwise it is just another intersection (with no interaction).”
Sellors knows that to get anything passed at council you need support from your colleagues, so he said he’ll work collaboratively to find common ground.
“You have to rely on ideas, respect and communication to get things done on council,” he said.
“I have a very good shot at the best job in the world,” said Sellors. “I’ve done the ground work. I know the things councillors should know about every single issue.”
He’s stepped down as Walker’s assistant to run because city employees can’t be candidates. This means Sellors wife Elizabeth will be the sole breadwinner for now.
“My wife and I and two and half year old Jack run a tight ship,” said Sellors. “I have been preparing for this potential for a couple of years. We have savings.”
“I am blessed with this opportunity and I am grasping it with both hands,” he said.
“No one knows Ward 22 the way I do,” said Sellors who’s campaign slogan is Experience You Can Trust.
The only other registered candidate so far is St. Paul’s school trustee Josh Matlow, who Sellors knows well.
“Usually you don’t know your opponent this well,” said Sellors. “I respect (Matlow). I’m not going to get negative. We will have a respectful campaign focused on the issues.”
Sellors has already been incorporating Twitter, Facebook and YouTube into his campaign in ways Walker, who is a self-proclaimed computer illiterate, never did. The campaign website is http://www.chrissellors.ca.