Tag Archives: Councillor Case Ootes

Surplus social housing sell off

Toronto social housing sold to Wigwamen
City sells 20 properties to affordable housing provider
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier May 14.)

Toronto Community Housing is giving affordable housing agencies first dibs on properties for sale, including 5 Hubbard Blvd. across from Kew Beach. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

The city’s largest social housing landlord has begun the process of selling surplus Beach homes worth millions for a fraction of their market value.
On May 12, city council voted to sell 20 properties across the city with a combined market value of $8.6 million for $395,156 to the non-profit Aboriginal housing provider Wigwamen.
The Toronto Community Housing properties include single-family homes on Pape, Malvern and Golfview avenues, and Milverton Boulevard.
That selling price is the remaining mortgages on the homes.
The process is actually cost-effective, says a city councillor.
Normally, if the city sells or demolishes any social housing units in its stock, it is mandated to replace them within the same community. In this case, the units were sold to an agency that will maintain the properties as social housing, so the city’s not required to replace the housing.
“This is cost neutral,” explained Councillor Paula Fletcher, who sits on the TCH board.
If the city had sold the properties for $8.6 million to a developer, for instance, the city would have spent about the same to build 20 replacement units. According to a city staff report, it would have cost $6.1 million, plus the cost of land for replacement units.
It’s a good deal, said Jeffery Ferrier, spokesperson for the city’s housing agency, because a sale and replacement scenario would have been a money-losing proposition for Toronto Community Housing.  “You can’t just look at the market value. You have to consider costs to replace the units with better housing. The costs of (real estate) commissions, construction, demolition and land would cost more.”

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Mayor David Miller’s budget surplus

David Miller announces his suggestions for extra $100 mil surplus
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March 12.)

Mayor Miller announced city's surplus higher than expected. Photo by Phil Alves/Town Crier file photo.

Mayor David Miller’s announcement the city has an additional $100 million budget surplus has sparked a political war of words.
“When the budget was announced almost a month ago, the estimated surplus was $250 million,” he told a packed house of media in his city hall office March 10. “I am pleased to announce today that more accurate year end accounting only now available, estimates the surplus to be over $100 million dollars higher.”
Toronto-Danforth councillor Case Ootes was not impressed with Miller’s announcement.
“Why didn’t he know about it before?” Ootes asked. “I don’t know why he called this press conference to highlight the fact this whole place has been mismanaged.”
Miller told the media it’s hard to get complete year-end numbers too far advance before final figures are available. Continue reading

Toronto Danforth Ward 29 candidates

Councillor Case Ootes not running in To-Danforth
Four candidates running to be new Ward 29 rep
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Feb. 11 for Town Crier.)

Former Leaside councillor Jane Pitfield is running in Toronto Danforth’s Ward 29 and I wrote about her on Jan. 6 the day current rep Case Ootes announced he would not seek re-election. But she’s not the only one seeking this seat.
Now meet a trio of candidates running here: Chris Caldwell, John Richardson and Mike Restivo. Scroll down to read each profile.

Chris Caldwell for Toronto-Danforth Ward 29

Chris Caldwell wants to involve residents more in planning process. Photo courtesy of Chris Caldwell.

Chris Caldwell registered as a candidate on Jan. 4 before Ootes made a decision not to run.
I looked forward to running against him,” Caldwell said from his home 180 metres outside Ward 29. “There’s a lot I didn’t agree with (Ootes) on but it runs deeper than that. It is how people are engaged in the planning process. They want to see their desires reflected in policy.”
He wants the community to be involved in any development planning application from beginning to end.
“We make better decisions with more information,” said the 41-year-old business analyst and consultant with a background in urban planning. Continue reading

Case Ootes not seeking re-election

Toronto Danforth councillor calling it quits in 2010
Ootes reflects on 21 years in public office
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Jan. 14 for Town Crier.)

Coun. Case Ootes not running for re-election in Ward 29. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

With thoughts turned to a possible career in academia, Case Ootes is foregoing another run at council after two decades representing Toronto-Danforth’s ward 29.
On Jan. 6, Ootes announced his retirement from municipal politics, saying he will not be seeking re-election this year.
The father of four sat down with the Town Crier in his East York Civic Centre constituency office Jan. 13 to discuss how the area he’s represented has changed, life after city hall and a possible new career as a professor.
“I decided some time ago – a year ago,” he said of his decision not to run again. “I have been an elected official for almost 22 years. It has been rewarding, but I want to move on.” Continue reading

Toronto election races to watch

These are the hot races to watch in this city
Election offers plenty of sparks, sparring
By Kris Scheuer
(Updated and expanded Oct. 25)

 

Councillor Case Ootes isn't seeking re-election and the race to replace him in ward 29 is a hotly contested one.

 

There are some exciting races in the Toronto election. Here are my 18 reasons to pay attention. What do you think, am I missing any races?
1. Mayor David Miller is not seeking a third term, but *40 candidates have made their bid to replace him. *Sarah Thomson withdrew but is still on the ballot. Find out who is running, here. Who will you choose?
2. Councillor Adam Giambrone Davenport Ward 18 was running for mayor but now he’s not. He’s also not seeking re-election locally. This race has attracted 12 candidates: Twelve candidates are running: Coun. Giambrone’s Executive Assistant Kevin Beaulieu, Doug Carroll, Nha Le, Joe MacDonald, Mohammad Muhit, Kirk Russell, Joanna Teliatnik, Hema Vyas, Ana Bailao, Ken Wood, Abdirazak Elmi and former Green Party of Ontario leader Frank de Jong.
3. Councillor Joe Pantalone Trinity-Spadina Ward 19 is running for mayor. His seat is up for grabs and 9 people are running: David Footman,  NDP leader Jack Layton’s son Mike Layton an urban planner and environmentalist, Jim Likourezos, sportscaster Sean McCormick, journalist Karlene NationGeorge Sawision,  Jason Stevens, community activist, planner and environmentalist Karen Sun and Rosario Bruto.
4. Councillor Anthony Perruzza for York Centre Ward 8 is seeking re-election. This should be a real tough fight between former local rep Peter Li Preti who represented the ward but lost by 579 votes to Perruzza in ’06. Li Preti has signed up for a rematch. Plus six other candidates: John Gallagher, Naseeb Husain, Antonius Clarke, Gerardo Miniguano, Arthur Smitherman (George Smitherman’s brother) and Ramnarine Tiwari are also running here. Continue reading

Case Ootes retires, Jane Pitfield runs

Councillor Case Ootes won’t run for re-election
Former politician Jane Pitfield to register today in his ward 29
By Kris Scheuer

Toronto-Danforth Councillor Case Ootes won’t run for re-election in the 2010 race. He is holding a press conference at 1:30 this afternoon, that I will be attending as the Town Crier City Hall Bureau Chief.
And I got a call from former Don Valley West Councillor and unsuccessful mayoralty candidate Jane Pitfield that she will register in Ward 29 today at 3 pm.
Update. As promised, my article on Jane Pitfield running and a separate story on Case Ootes‘s retirement.

Toronto councillors 2010 election

The election campaign already heating up
Who is retiring, running, playing coy in TO election
By Kris Scheuer
(Updated Oct.25- Election Day.)

 

Councillor Joe Mihevc

Joe Mihevc is one of the incumbent councillors seeking re-election.

 

One thing is certain in life – that’s change. And we can count on that in this city’s election. The vote is Oct. 25.
Of the 44 incumbent city councillors so far 35 current Toronto politicians have signed up for re-election in their own ward. Of the remaining 9 incumbents: 2 are running for mayor instead and 7 aren’t running at all. Want to see for yourself?
Check the city’s election website that shows all 477 candidates running for mayor, councillor and school trustee positions.
Here’s the scope on where all the candidates stand as of Sept. 10 the final nomination day.
Mayor David Miller is not running for re-election. There are 40 candidates registered to run for mayor.
Council races – there are 279 candidates running for 44 council seats
Ron Moeser (Scarborough East Ward 44) has registered and so have three others: Diana Hall, Heath Thomas and Mohammed Mirza.
Paul Ainslie (Scarborough East Ward 43) is running again and has four challengers: John Laforet, Benjamin Mbaegbu, Bhaskar Sharma and Samuel Getachew.

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Yes to worker pay cut, no council cut

Non-union employees get pay freeze, councillors keep their own wage hike
Mayor Miller and some councillors give back their pay increase to city
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally published April 27/09 for Town Crier.)

Members of the city’s Executive Committee froze inflationary pay hikes for non-union employees but voted not to do the same for themselves.
By rejecting a motion put forward by councillors Case Ootes and Karen Stintz to freeze all city politicians salaries for 2009, the issue won’t go on to city council for a vote. 
“We asked for a salary freeze and Executive Committee did not take that position,” said Stintz after committee’s vote on April 7. “The issue is dead.” 
Nonetheless, council members can still voluntarily donate their 2.42-percent cost of living increase to the city. 
As of April 8, Mayor David Miller and 16 councillors have agreed to do just that, said Celine Chiovitti, acting director of pensions, payroll and employee benefits at city hall. Continue reading

Who voted for new union contracts

Toronto city council approved new deals two unions
Here’s how each politician voted
By Kris Scheuer

The strike is over after city council approved new contracts for CUPE locals 416 and 79.
The final vote was a close one at 21-17 in a heated debate on July 31.
Want to know how every politician voted? Continue reading

Council vote on union deal hits roadblock

At least 10 city politicians to vote against union contracts tomorrow
Wage increases, bankable sick days points of contentions
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier July 30. Read July 31 UPDATE on the final vote.)

City councillors known as the Responsible Government Group vowed to vote against the negotiated deals with CUPE locals 416 and 79 at tomorrow’s special council meeting.
“Throughout the last five weeks of a strike the people of Toronto have put up with trash in their parks and cancelled services because they believed it was necessary in order to achieve a fair and affordable contract,” Eglinton-Lawrence councillor Karen Stintz said at a press conference this morning. “We have achieved neither.”
The contracts award striking workers with a six percent pay increase over three years and an option to continue to bank sick days until retirement or take a buyout and switch to the new short term disability plan.

“After a strike of almost six weeks the unions and mayor have declared they have reached an agreement that is fair to both employees and the people of Toronto,” Toronto-Danforth councillor Case Ootes said today.  “Citizens have been let down. 
“The mayor promised to eliminate the costly sick benefit program and has failed to meet that commitment,” he added. “This agreement is not affordable and not acceptable to the taxpayers of Toronto.” Continue reading