As vice-chair, Doug Ford in charge of budget committee
BERNARD WEIL/TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO Councillor Doug Ford
Councillor Doug Ford is now chair of the budget committee in the wake of the resignation of Councillor Mike Del Grande.
Just don’t call mayor’s brother the “chair,” the “interim chair” or even the “acting chair.”
Moments after the budget committee met Friday, the mayor’s office circulated a “clarification” that while Councillor Ford is taking over, his title remains vice-chair.
“He simply chairs the meetings in the absence of the chair,” said the mayor’s communications director, George Christopoulos.
In most government circles, someone in that role until a permanent chair is picked is referred to as the interim or acting chair. Not so in this case, said Christopoulos. “He’s just the vice-chair.”
Whether acting, interim or vice, one thing is certain: Doug Ford doesn’t want the onerous job permanently and hopes the executive committee chaired by Mayor Rob Ford picks a replacement for Del Grande as soon as possible.
Del Grande stepped down shortly after the $ 9.4-billion 2013 operating budget was passed Wednesday, saying he was upset by a council motion calling for a more transparent budget process.
He’s been called thin-skinned for quitting so abruptly.
“I think he should have waited a few days and thought about it a little bit before making that decision,” said Councillor Paula Fletcher. “I think politicians can’t be thin-skinned.
“If anybody shows us that, it’s the mayor,” Fletcher added. “He’s very thick-skinned. He rolls with all the punches. It’s unfortunate the budget chief couldn’t have done that.”
Councillor Ford agreed Del Grande should have taken more time to think about it, but disagreed with Fletcher’s “thin-skinned” assessment.
“I don’t know. I’m not going to say that. Mike’s a great guy. He’s a buddy of mine,” Ford said.
He thinks the executive committee should consider candidates who are on the budget committee now, as well as councillors who aren’t. “Let’s give everyone an opportunity,” he said.
He wouldn’t say if he’d like to see the job go to Councillor Paul Ainslie, a Ford loyalist who’s one of the names being touted to replace Del Grande.
“I’m not too sure,” Ford said. “Paul’s a great guy.”
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