Mary-Margaret McMahon gets prepared for takeover Dec. 1
New councillor will start new rein after beating Sandra Bussin
(Written Nov. 9 for Town Crier.)
It was the first day of school and Mary-Margaret McMahon was hitting the books.
Though she doesn’t officially start until Dec.1, the newly elected Ward 32 Beaches East-York councillor and her fellow newbie colleagues were at city hall on Nov. 9 doing an orientation session. McMahon came away with “homework” – a think binder of council protocol.
And, judging by the amount of calls she’s been getting, McMahon better get up to speed – fast.
In a post-election interview at city hall, McMahon said she’s trying to get one step ahead, meeting with residents, businesses and developers to discuss ongoing files and projects in the ward.
In a stunning win over embattled incumbent Sandra Bussin, McMahon got 65 percent of the votes on election day, Bussin walked away with 25 percent.
But faced with controversy after controversy this past election term proved to be her undoing.
McMahon even counts herself as a previous Bussin supporter.
“I voted for Sandra every time,” said McMahon, who’s lived in the ward for 19 years.
Beyond Bussin’s troubles, McMahon attributes her success on election day to a number of factors. She knocked on doors daily for about 16 weeks. Three other candidates dropped out of the race to support her and she got some high profile endorsements.
She admits there was a lot of anger towards Bussin, especially over the sole-source Tuggs beach café deal.
“There was an … ‘anybody but Bussin’ movement,” she said.
But McMahon brings her own local experience in the community, including co-founding a local farmer’s market, which attracted new businesses to Danforth.
McMahon said she’s a woman of action and promises the same approach as councillor.
“I will host regular town halls at three libraries so people can bring up joys and concerns and a vision for the community,” said McMahon, who lives in the Danforth and Woodbine area with her husband, Jim, and children, Liam and Becca.
She describers herself as a “doer” who doesn’t like to “burden” others by asking for help. She said the transition into her new job is going relatively well even without help from outgoing Councillor Bussin.
“I have not heard from (Bussin) or her staff. It’s disappointing.”
Returning veteran Councillor Pam McConnell has reached out by having many of the 15 females on council to her condo on Nov. 8, said McMahon.
And she’s met with many of the new councillors for coffee to talk shop.
“One councillor said, ‘it’s nice to know you have friends before you get to school.’”
Council’s made no decision, developer will try reach deal
But has appealed condo plan to Ontario Municipal Board just in case
(Written for Town Crier Nov. 11.)
Residents protest outside Kippendavie pre-sales office for condos that have yet to be approved for development. Photo courtesy of Joanne Dicaire.
Beach residents are trying to halt a condo project until the city has a plan in place to fix residential water and sewage basement flooding.
Longo Development plans to tear down six existing homes and build a 65-unit, four-storey condo on Kippendavie Avenue.
The Beach has been prone to storm water and sewage basement flooding and some residents are concerned development intensification on their street will only exacerbate the problem.
The Kew Beach Neighbourhood Association organized a protest Nov. 6 and 7 when the developer started pre-sales of the yet to be approved condo project.
“We need more studies,” said Joanne Dicaire, chair of the group’s sewage and flooding committee.
Posted in Toronto News
Tagged Beach, city, development, Dicaire, flooding, Goldstein, Howard, Joanne, Kew, Kippendavie, Kris Scheuer, Longo, OMB, Sandra Bussin, sewage, Town Crier
No smooth transition in Beaches post election
Neither Sandra Bussin or Mary-Margaret McMahon called either other
(Written for Town Crier Nov. 11)
Mary-Margaret McMahon is sworn in as Ward 32 councillor Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of Mary-Margaret McMahon.
Councillor Sandra Bussin has been criticized for not reaching out to Mary-Margaet McMahon, who soundly defeated her in the Oct. 25 election.
“I have not heard from (Bussin) or her staff. It’s disappointing,” McMahon told the Town Crier Nov. 9.
But communication is a two-way street.
“Ms. McMahon has not called me,” Bussin said this afternoon.
McMahon admitted that it’s true she’s not called Bussin either but was waiting for her to call either on election night or after McMahon’s family vacation.
“I’m planning to call her,” McMahon said today.
Conversation or not, from Bussin’s perspective the idea of a transition between two councillors is something new and has not been done in the past.
Outgoing Councillor Sandra Bussin. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged 311, Beaches, conversation, councillor, defeated, election, Kris Scheuer, Mary-Margaret McMahon, phone, Sandra Bussin, Town Crier, transition
Rough transition for some new councillors
Bussin, Walker AWOL when it comes to helping successors in new job
(Written for Town Crier Nov. 9)
Mary-Margaret McMahon on election night after winning against incumbent Sandra Bussin. Photo by Shawn Star/Town Crier.
Being a city councillor may be a dream job for some of the newly elected reps, but for some trying to speak to their predecessors has been a bit of a nightmare.
“I have not heard anything (from Sandra Bussin),” said Mary-Margaret McMahon who defeated the incumbent in Ward 32. “It doesn’t surprise me so I am doing what I usually do and meeting with the public and talking to city staff.
“It would be nice to have some sort of contact.”
McMahon is not even sure if any of the relevant files will be left in the office when she takes over.
“I am worried it may be old Mother Hubbard’s (bare) cupboard, but I am not sure,” said McMahon who spoke to the media after a Nov. 9 orientation session for new councillors.
Incoming Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow is in the same boat and has yet to have a post-election conversation with outgoing rep Michael Walker.
“I imagine he is disappointed in the results,” said Matlow, referring to Walker, who endorsed his executive assistant and candidate Chris Sellors instead. “I would hope Councillor Walker would meet with me to discuss transition solely in the interests of the residents he advocated for and championed for 28 years.”
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged councillors, Jaye Robinson, Josh, Kris Scheuer, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Matlow, Michael, Sandra Bussin, Sarah Doucette, Town Crier, transition, Walker