Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly says he’d like to appoint a “deputy-deputy mayor,” in cases where he’s unable to fulfill his roles as the city’s chief executive.
Mr. Kelly – who took over many of the mayor’s authorities late last year after Mayor Rob Ford’s admission to smoking crack cocaine – said Tuesday that city staff have urged him to appoint someone to take over in case he’s absent from council. As a result, he said, he plans on recommending Councillor Mike Del Grande, a former budget chief who is not running for re-election, for the role.
“He’s a veteran, he’s not running for office, and I thought this would be something that he would be interested in wrapping up his career as,” Mr. Kelly said Tuesday morning. He said he’s spoken with Mr. Del Grande, who said he’d be willing to accept the role.
The appointment would still have to be approved by a council vote, which Mr. Kelly said will happen this week.
Mr. Kelly had already assumed many of Mr. Ford’s powers in late November after a historic council vote. But ever since the mayor announced in late April that he was taking a temporary leave of absence to attend a rehab facility in Muskoka, Mr. Kelly has taken over all of his powers, including staff.
“I’m going to be on holidays next week, the mayor will be absent, so someone has to be there for that short period of time,” Mr. Kelly said in explaining the new deputy-deputy role. “It’s just to ensure the continuity of the executive in the City of Toronto.”
When asked by reporters on Tuesday, Mr. Del Grande said he doubted he’d have to do much in the role. “He’s going away for a week. I don’t think we’ll get a snowstorm or anything,” Mr. Del Grande said.
“Norm’s not going anywhere, so I’m just backup, that’s all. Nothing more, nothing less.”