Will new mayor appoint only his allies to key council posts?
Or will he share the wealth and reach out to the left?
(Column written for Town Crier Nov. 5)
Mayor-elect Rob Ford and his transition team have 44 councillors, including 14 newbies, to please.
The new mayor’s team must now decide who will head council committees and sit on boards and key commissions. Will he reach across the political aisle and pick councillors based on expertise, geographic representation (downtown versus suburbs), diversity, etc. or will he only pick his allies?
This will be one of the first indications of what type of council we will see.
Ford and his team have said they want this new term to be about working collaboratively with all councillors based on expertise not merely ideology.
Many councillors I’ve spoken to, including newcomers Josh Matlow and Jaye Robinson and stalwarts Karen Stintz and Joe Mihevc, have repeatedly said that people want a council that works together for Toronto.
While it is an oft repeated message is that Mayor David Miller brought mainly like-minded councillors into the powerful executive committee and for key roles there were times he did stray from a partisan path such as appointing David Soknacki as his budget chief in his first term. Mel Lastman reached out to lefties for help like former councillors (and current NDP MPs) Olivia Chow (children’s advocate) and Jack Layton (homelessness).
So now that Ford is no longer in the political wilderness will he look beyond the left and right divide and reward people with important jobs based on their strengths and experience?