Tag Archives: Case Ootes

Hubbard social housing fixed up

Toronto Community Housing renovated 42 Hubbard Blvd
While housing nearby for sale, this site gets $4 mil reno
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier April 7.)

Kew Beach resident Deborah Beaven will be moving back to renovated Toronto Community Housing apartment complex at 42 Hubbard Blvd. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

Deborah Beaven can’t wait to move back home to her Toronto Community Housing apartment at 42 Hubbard Blvd.
She’s lived at the 27-unit Kew Beach apartment complex for over two decades, but all the tenants were moved out two years ago when mould was found throughout the building.
This summer she and any of the previous tenants who wish to return will be moving back home.
“I am down there every second day watching it (construction),” said Beaven. “I am marking the days on my calendar. I miss being in my home. I miss my neighbours of 22 years.”
Beaven was one of the lucky ones as she was relocated only seven blocks away.
“But it’s a world away,” said Beaven, who was the 42 Hubbard’s tenant rep for seven years.
She said through phone calls, emails and Facebook connections she gathers that 80-85 percent of previous tenants plan to return to the Hubbard building, which offers a mix of rent-geared-to-income and market rent apartments.

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Toronto Community Housing selling properties

Case Ootes lone board member votes to sell 22 homes
City-owned housing provider to make millions
Money would be used to fix crumbling housing stock
Kris Scheuer
(Written April 6 for Town Crier.)

Case Ootes explains his vote to sell 22 social housing properties. Kris Scheuer/Town Crier photo.

Case Ootes, the one man board at Toronto Community Housing Corporation, voted today to sell 22 single families homes in the portfolio that could net the corporation up to $15.7 million.
Some who came out to the meeting asked Ootes to defer the decision until a full board is in place this June. But Ootes said he’s acting on recommendations of the previous board to sell these homes including beachfront property on Hubbard Boulevard that are too costly to maintain.
A staff report this issue states the net profits from the sales should be used to tackle the backlog to fix up existing community housing across the city which Ootes pegs at close to $600 million.
“I made the decision based on the fact this corporation is facing serious financial problems,” he told the media after the meeting. “There are almost 2,000 vacant units in some form of disrepair. Money is needed to repair these units.”
But selling all 22 homes, which contain 29 separate units, won’t be a cakewalk.
Currently, 15 of the 29 units are occupied by tenants with most of them paying market rent. The market rent tenants can’t be kicked out by any new owner unless they or their families plan to live in the homes.
“Most buyers do want (houses) to be vacant so it will be more difficult to sell,” said Ootes.  Continue reading

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?

Toronto Community Housing board gone

City voted to remove housing board members
Interim director in place until new board appointed
Councillors question legality of decision
Kris Scheuer
(Written and revised March 10 for Town Crier)

THC tenant reps Catherine Wilkinson and Dan King were among board members removed by city. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Mayor Rob Ford got his wish. The four remaining members of the Toronto Community Housing’s board were removed last night after a midnight vote by city council.
It its place a single managing director has been appointed to take over the board’s duties.
It’s been confirmed former deputy mayor Case Ootes will fill that role until a new board is formed no later than mid-June.
Councillor Raymond Cho, who along with Councillor Maria Augimeri and tenant reps Catherine Wilkinson and Dan King were removed from the community housing board, said during the debate he felt the mayor was telling him to get lost by asking him to resign from the board after he was just appointed in December.
Last week, the other two councillors appointed to the board after last year’s election, John Parker and Frances Nunziata, resigned at the mayor’s request.

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Fragedakis takes over Ward 29

Mary Fragedakis to tackle city and ward issues
New councillor will be shift from retiring Case Ootes
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Nov. 11)

L-R: Second place candidate Jane Pitfield congratulates councillor-elect Mary Fragedakis. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

Councillor-elect Mary Fragedakis may be a new face at city hall, but she’s fairly familiar one in the community she will represent beginning Dec. 1.
“I’ve lived my whole life in ward 29,” said the new Toronto-Danforth rep. “My friends, family and neighbours are here. I started the Broadview Community Youth Group because of the lack of affordable programs. I understand the context of the area.”
And Fragedakis arguably made history on election night, introduced at her victory celebration as the first woman of Greek background to win a seat on council.
She captured over 41 percent of the vote, beating out runner-up Jane Pitfield and five other candidates. Continue reading

Rob Ford good for Midtown?

Mayor-elect’s biggest support in suburbs
Downtown not a fan, Midtown voters were  luke warm
Will  a Ford administration be good for Midtown Toronto?
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Nov. 4)

Mayor-elect Rob Ford. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

New mayor Rob Ford got mixed reaction from voters in midtown, but one’s thing for certain: This is definitely not his core electorate.
So his sweeping victory — he won easily with 383,501 votes — has midtown wondering: what will he do for us?
Overall, there’s a cloak of secrecy surrounding Ford these days as he bunkers down with his transition team lead by Councillor Case Ootes.
What campaign policies will Ford stand by and which will he soften?
Calls to Ford’s team were directed to Ootes, who said he could not discuss any policy direction now. Period.
“The objective of the mayor is to deliver on his commitments and to get costs under control,” Ootes said earlier this month. “I won’t get into what’s doable and what’s not doable. That’s what the transition team is discussing now.”
And while they’re behind closed doors talking, so is midtown.
There’s mixed feeling among business owners, residents and Ford’s midtown council counterparts: fear, hope or downright uncertainty of what a Rob Ford Toronto will mean for midtown.

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Jane Pitfield runs for Toronto council

Former councillor Jane Pitfield to run for election
She registered as candidate in east end ward
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Jan. 6 for Town Crier.)

Former councillor Jane Pitfield plans to run in Ward 29 after Case Ootes announced he'll retire. Town Crier file photo.

Jane Pitfield wants back into city hall and she’s chosen to run in Toronto-Danforth Ward 29.
Case Ootes the current local rep held a media conference this afternoon announcing he won’t seek re-election in this east end ward.
And at 3 pm today, Pitfield registered as a candidate for the ward she has political roots in.
“I was very surprised when councillor Case Ootes announced his retirement,” she told the media at the city’s election offices.
She met with councillors Ootes, Cliff Jenkins and Michael Walker weeks ago indicating her interest in running if any of them choose not to run.
“All of them said they thought they’d return,” she told the Town Crier today.
Then last night, councillor Ootes called to tell her he would not seek re-election.
“I felt my interest is so strong in coming back. Why wait?” she said in an interview. Continue reading

Case Ootes won’t seek re-election

Veteran Toronto councillor Case Ootes to retire
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Jan. 6)

Councillor Case Ootes announced Jan. 6 he won't seek re-election after nearly 22 years in politics.

After two decades in municipal politics, Toronto-Danforth Councillor Case Ootes is calling it quits.
He announced today he will not run in the fall city election.
Former Leaside councillor Jane Pitfield plans to register this afternoon to run in his Ward 29.
“I am officially announcing today that I will not be running for re-election next October,” he told the media at 1:30 pm Jan. 6.
“I have been at it for 21 years and it’s been very rewarding, but I want to pursue some other things that are yet to be defined. And I want to spend more time traveling with my wife.”
“I do want to take the opportunity to thank the people of East York for re-electing me seven times over the last 21 years,” said the former deputy mayor under Mel Lastman. Continue reading