Mayor Rob Ford appears to have made his choice on Toronto’s new budget chief.
Speaking on his radio show Sunday, the Mayor said he’s pushing for Ward 12 York South-Weston Councillor Frank Di Giorgio.
“I want to hopefully make you the budget chief, but I’ve just got to talk to a couple more people. But you’re close, you’re very, very close, so we’ll see what happens,” the Mayor told Mr. Di Giorgio during the show. “I don’t want to make that big announcement right now, but it’s pretty close, Franko.”
The Mayor appeared to be giving Mr. Di Giorgio an opportunity to better introduce himself to Toronto residents. At one point, the Mayor asked the councillor to tell the listeners a little more about himself. Mr. Di Giorgio noted that he has a daughter who is finishing law school, and a son who is studying to be an engineer.
Councillor Doug Ford said the Mayor and Mr. Di Giorgio have a “special relationship.”
“I don’t know what it is, but they love each other, which is good,” Doug Ford said, adding that Mr. Di Giorgio is “one of the most loyal” supporters the Mayor has.
Mr. Di Giorgio is a member of both the Mayor’s executive committee and the budget committee. Before the Mayor won his appeal of a court decision that could have removed him from office, Mr. Di Giorgio was one of a few councillors to say the Mayor deserved to be reappointed if he lost his job.
Mike Del Grande, the city’s former budget chief, resigned from the post last month.
Mr. Del Grande cited several reasons for stepping down, including the fact that the Mayor voted against the budget to support a late, long-shot bid to freeze taxes. Mr. Del Grande also disagreed with council’s decision to add $12-million in new spending, and said he believed a motion that passed calling for greater transparency in the budget process was essentially a vote of no confidence.
Mr. Del Grande handed the Mayor his resignation moments after the budget passed, overshadowing Mr. Ford’s cost-cutting battle.
Sunday’s radio show also marked the Mayor’s first public comments since a compliance audit, released Friday, found that his 2010 campaign exceeded the authorized spending limit by more than $40,000 and appeared to contravene election law dozens of times.
He said little about the audit during the show, however, reasoning that it still had to be discussed before the compliance audit committee later this month.
Doug Ford repeated his remarks from Friday that the campaign had nothing to hide.