Case Ootes’ pay at TCH board

Former councillor getting 25k for 3-month gig
City appointed him interim man director at housing board
Kris Scheuer
(March 16 blog post)

Case Ootes former ward 29 rep is now the interim managing director of the city's housing board. Photo Francis Crescia/Town Crier file photo.

Former East York councillor and ex deputy mayor Case Ootes is the one man show on Toronto Community Housing’s board now. He’ll began his new role on Monday and will be in it until mid-June at the latest. He’ll make $25,000 in compensation as the interim managing director of the TCH board.
The city manager Joseph Pennachetti set the rate of pay for Ootes.
At the emergency council session March 9 that the Mayor Rob Ford called, the city voted 25-18 to sweep the remaining 4 members of the board. The other nine board members already resigned at the mayor’s request over a scandalous set of city audits that involved spending by TCH employees and sole-source contracts that if put out for competitive tender could have saved millions.
But not all city councillors wanted Ootes to get paid for his temporary role, but councillor motions to have him work for free were defeated. The main issue raised was that Ootes, who was a councillor from 1988 to 2010, was already receiving severance for his almost 22 years in public office. He’s receiving the max allowed which is 12 months pay equal to $99,619.52.
According to the city’s policy on severance, a councillor can receive 1 month’s pay for every consecutive year worked with the maximum allowed of 12 months. In Ootes case he was a councillor for over two decades, so is entitled to a year’s severance.
After the council vote, the mayor told the media everyone deserves to be paid so he was fine with Ootes being compensated in his new role despite the fact he’s currently collecting severance from the city/taxpayer.
According to the Globe and Mail, Ootes also earned $11,000 from his role heading up Mayor Ford’s transition team after the Oct. 25 election last year.
It will be interesting to see what Ootes suggests for city-owned housing corporation while he is in charge of the board. One thing he’s been quite vocal about in interviews I have had with him as a Town Crier reporter is that TCH should not house people in million dollar houses.
What’s your take on his pay and new appointed role?

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4 responses to “Case Ootes’ pay at TCH board

  1. Now former city councillor Case Ootes is set to pocket another 25,000 in public money for three months work as interim managing director at the troubled Toronto Community Housing Corp. Indeed as deputy mayor under Mel Lastman Ootes emerged as de facto head of the city when Lastman all but abandoned the job in the closing months of his final term. What shouldn’t be left to his discretion is whether to do his job as instructed by city council.

  2. Keiko Nakamura will step down as CEO of Toronto Community Housing on March 25 at the request of the new interim board managing director Case Ootes. Previously Mayor Rob Ford as Ms. Nakamura to step down after two city audits, but she refused.
    Ootes stated in a press release this afternoon, “I have concluded that because of recent events, Ms. Nakamura continuing as CEO would be a substantial distraction for the corporation in its efforts to provide affordable housing to low and moderate income residents.”
    Just before 4 pm today, Mayor Ford released this statement, “I have been advised the Toronto Community Housing Corporation has put out a statement regarding Ms. Nakamura. We must move forward and keep our focus on the tenants and taxpayers.”

  3. Sound like Ootes is in favour of creating poor ghettos by housing at lowest cost and not in homes, or where people might want to live. Here comes a Toronto Harlem solution? Row housing by an incinerator? Buy contaminated lands? Disgusting.

    • Ken, I understand your concern but I can’t say personally or as a journalist what Ootes intentions are in terms of your suggestions of ghettos and buying up contaminated land to house residents. But he has said to me and others in the past that he doesn’t think Toronto Community Housing should house tenants/families in homes that are worth $500,000 or $1 million or more but should instead sell those properties and buy cheaper housing properties in order to offer more housing for the same price (ie three or four homes totally $1 mil rather than just one).

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