Daily Archives: March 9, 2011

Council debates removing housing board

Kris Scheuer
(For March 10 update click here.)

Mayor Ford shown on the big screen at city council tonight speaking about wanting the current TCH board removed. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

 

Council has been debating for three plus hours now on Mayor Rob Ford’s request that the last four board members of Toronto Community Housing be removed tonight. He wants them replaced tonight by an interim managing director – Case Ootes.
Read the mayor’s letter to council on what he is seeking.
While there are a number of motions be city councillor being debated now (9pm), the main issue comes down to this: the mayor’s request the last four board members councillors Maria Augimeri and Raymind Cho and the two tenant reps Catherine Wilkinson and Dan King be removed as they refuse to step down. Mayor Ford wants those four replaced by one person, former councillor Case Ootes, as the interim managing director.
And the main alternative being debated  tonight is Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s motion that the four current reps stay on the board and the interim managing director be added but that he not be paid because as an ex councillor Ootes is already getting severance.
See all the councillors’ motions here.
The debate and media scrum didn’t end until almost 12:30 am Thurs March 10. Here’s the update on the results.

Sarah Thomson will run provincially

She’s accepted Liberal’s invite to be candidate
The Trinity-Spadina riding association to hold nomination meeting
Kris Scheuer

Sarah Thomson has accepted Liberal invite to run as their provincial candidate in Trinity-Spadina. Nomination meeting yet to be held. Photo courtesy of Sarah Thomson.

Former mayoralty candidate Sarah Thomson confirmed to me today she’s accepted the provincial Liberals invite to run for them in the Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina.
When I reached her on Monday she would not say, but did announce her intentions on her Facebook  page yesterday so now she is more open about her plans.
She is taking on NDP provincial rep Rosario Marchese who was first elected in Trinity-Spadina in 1990 and has been in that seat ever since.
I will report back for the Town Crier on March 10 and will post a full story on this blog as soon as that story is edited.

Housing board could be replaced

Mayor Ford calls special Toronto City Council session
He wants remaining board members gone
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March eighth, posted March 9)

Councillor Pam McConnell.

Mayor Rob Ford called a special city council session for this evening to discuss removing the remaining four Toronto Community Housing Corporation board members.
Councillor Pam McConnell is livid and said she thinks it is illegal to meet on this issue with such short notice.
Referring to the city’s shareholders agreement with the city-owned corporation that states on page 15 that “the shareholder (city) will provide prior written notice to the board no less than six weeks prior to any proposed amendments to this direction.”
McConnell, a veteran on council, told the media Tuesday evening that lawyers were looking into the matter and that she was looking at the possibility of seeking an injunction to stop the meeting.
“It is not right to just think you can close your eyes to the law and bylaws and the covenant with your tenants and to say we will forget all of that,” she said.
City legal staff have so far disagreed with her interpretation, McConnell said.
The removal of the board members became an issue after city Auditor General Jeffrey Griffiths two scathing Feb. 25 reports found millions could be saved if contracts were more competitive and uncovered inappropriate employee expenses although he found no fault by board members.
While the reports haven’t gone to the city’s audit committee yet, Mayor Ford asked all 13 board members to resign and last week nine board members including chair David Mitchell did.

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