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Mayor’s Office powerful new force at City Hall

In an earlier article here I tried to predict which way this new City of Toronto Council would swing on bicycling issues. I made a colour coded quick-reference table that tries to show all the changes at City Hall after the October 25th election. The election saw a record 14 new councilors elected (5 incumbents were defeated – 9 replaced councilors who retired from city politics).

In that post I promised to keep an eye on this new Council going forward because Mayor Rob Ford said he thinks cyclists killed in traffic accidents deserve their lot for riding their dam “pinko” bikes on our ‘car-roads’ (paraphrasing).

On Tuesday December 7 City council held their first meeting (see city council meeting agenda). As I’m sure everyone is aware – it’s the meeting where Don Cherry disrespected the institution the best he could with his half-literate inflammatory rhetorical ramblings about the right/left political divide which is likely to mark this council.

Earlier, Joe T posted a link to a video of Cherry’s rant here at BikingToronto.

On Wednesday Council meet again to vote on the appointment of several of them to the all-powerful Executive Committee; a sort of Board of Directors of the Rob Ford Corporation.

‘What’s that you say? The City has an Executive Committee? Never heard of it!’

Well, neither had I until September 2010, so I did some research:

In 2006 The City of Toronto reorganized itself in order to get things done. It’s now a dictatorship of the majority. This makes sure that there is continuity from year to year on big projects. Like “Transit City” for example – and like getting rid of “Transit City”, that this Administration set the wheels in motion to begin to do.

To make this happen the 2006 council decided to make the Mayor much more powerful than in the old City Council. A Super Mayor.

The Executive Committee is part of the structure of the powerful Office of the Mayor.  I liken to the Board of Directors of a Corporation and the Mayor like the Chief Executive Officer of that Corporation.

Or, you can see as an analogy to the Republican system of Government in the United States. A “Republic” is based on a balance of powers between three separate, but equal, branches of government:

Legislative (Congress)
Executive (President)
Judicial (Supreme Court)

The “Mayor’s Office” as I will hence-forth refer to it, is the Executive Branch, The City Council is the Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch are the laws of Canada – and, as the City of Toronto is an entity of the Province of Ontario, the laws that govern such entities as passed by the Provincial Parliament and executed by the staff at City Hall.

On Tuesday, December 1st Rob Ford became Mayor of Toronto. On that day his transition team was re-named as the Striking Committee, a legal entity in the new City Council. Their job is to recommend Chairs of all the Committees of Council. Those committee chairs will automatically be on the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee is composed of the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor, the Chairs of all the Committees of City Council – plus four members at large.

Here’s the composition of the new Executive Committee:
(Link: “Council Member appointments to the Executive, Standing and Special Committees and to Agencies and External Bodies – passed by full council“.)

Executive Committee (2010-2014)

“The Executive Committee makes recommendations on Council’s strategic policy and priorities, governance policy and structure, financial planning and budgeting, fiscal policy including revenue and tax policies, intergovernmental and international relations, Council and its operations, and human resources and labour relations.”

The Executive Committee

Mayor Rob Ford (Chair)
Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday (Vice-Chair & Chair of the Employee and Labour Relations Committee.)
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Chair, Community Development and Recreation Committee)
Councillor Michael Thompson (Chair, Economic Development Committee)
Councillor Paul Ainslie (Chair, Government Management Committee)
Councillor Cesar Palacio (Chair, Licensing and Standards Committee)
Councillor Norm Kelly (Chair, Parks and Environment Committee)
Councillor Peter Milczyn (Chair, Planning and Growth Management Committee)
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Chair, Public Works and Infrastructure Committee)

Members at-large

Councillor Michelle Berardinetti
Councillor Mike Del Grande (Chair, Budget Committee.)
Councillor Jaye Robinson
Councillor David Shiner

See: Notes from Toronto City Council Meeting – December 8th 2010 - formerly here – now at a new post: Crappy Sandwiches, Zoo Poo, and Boyz Club Rules + Cycling Committee rumors

References:
Toronto Star Tuesday, December 7, 2010: “No need for council vote on Transit City, Ford suggests“.

Related Posts:

At this Blog:
Crappy Sandwiches, Zoo Poo, and Boyz Club Rules + Cycling Committee rumors
Transit Sage Steve Munro documents Ford & Council DID vote on Transit City
Changing Colours at Toronto City Hall
An Anti-Cycling Mayor Rob Ford does not a Council make

At BikingToronto:
Video: Don Cherry and his Pinko Rant
Left-Wing Pinko I Bike T.O. Shirt
Don Cherry insults Cyclists as Rob Ford Sworn in as Mayor

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Posted: December 10th, 2010
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