Mayor’s appointees in step with Ford platform

Rob Ford announces his executive team, including Doug Holyday as deputy mayor and Mike Del Grande as budget chief. He takes office on Dec. 1. (TRAN_FORD2E)

Rob Ford’s choice for TTC chair has the new mayor’s campaign slogan top-of-mind.

Rob Ford takes over the Toronto mayor’s office on Dec. 1. Yesterday, he announced his choices for chairs of standing committees from among elected city councilors.

Doug Holyday fills the role of the new deputy mayor. Ford also appointed Frances Nunziata as council speaker, Mike Del Grande as the budget chief and Giorgio Mammoliti chair of community development and recreation. The new mayor chose Eglinton-Lawrence councillor Karen Stinz as new TTC chair. She offered her sense of direction for public transit in Toronto

“I think we really need to bring a customer-first approach to the commission,” she said.

Stinz replaces Adam Giambrone, who didn’t run for re-election in Ward 17.

“I know I have some big shoes to fill,” Stinz said. “I’m looking forward to assuming the role if I have the confidence of the commission to do so.”

Elected in 2006, Stinz stated previously her preference for subways over streetcars. She didn’t speak about future subways or about Transit City, but she said she wants cleaner subway stations and more reliable service.

Mayor-elect Ford chose Denzil Minnan-Wong as chair of the city’s public works committee. He’s in favour of contracting out services such as garbage collection.

“I think it’s a discussion that we need to have,” Minnan-Wong said. “The last administration refused to have the debate. We had an awful (garbage) strike last year and we got very little for it.”

Mayor Rob Ford chose his chairs of standing committees this week. His new team will have its first city council meeting Dec. 7.  (TRAN_FORD_PICE)

Most of the newly appointed executive councillors are right-leaning, but Ford says the political spectrum is not the issue.

“This is not about left or right; this is about bringing respect for taxpayers back to City Hall,” he said. “This team that I have demonstrated here today will do that. They’re hard working, they understand customer service and that’s the bottom line.”

With Ford’s new team in place, there are questions about what Miller policies will survive. Ford has said that he will kill the vehicle registration tax . Doug Ford, Mayor Ford’s brother, says the new administration will remove the tax within two weeks.

Former Toronto Cyclists Union executive director, Yvonne Bambrick, hopes the newly appointed executive council will cater to downtown Toronto residents and suburbanites.

She said Mayor-elect Ford doesn’t always support cyclists. But Bambrick applauds his transportation plan, which includes repairs for off-road bike lanes.

“They’ve got their work cut out for them,” she said. “All of us will be holding them accountable for that work.”