When John Tory is sworn in on Dec. 2, he will be the first mayor in recent memory who has not served on city council beforehand. But he will have a team of experienced city hall alumni to help ease him into the role.
Over the past few weeks, Mr. Tory's advisers have been quietly assembling a transition team that brings with it decades of knowledge of the inner workings of the municipal government.
Mr. Tory's team, according to a source on his campaign, will be divided in two: a "working" group that will meet regularly and include his chief of staff, and a broader group meant to reflect the diversity of the city that will meet occasionally over the five-week period. The team may also include former rivals such as David Soknacki.
The team is still being finalized, but here are some of the people Mr. Tory will likely ask to join:
Case Ootes: The former deputy mayor and city councillor for 14 years will be chairman, several sources said.
After serving in the same role on Mayor Rob Ford's 2010 transition team, Mr. Ootes has intimate knowledge of some of the city's most important files, including Toronto Community Housing, of which he was briefly managing director in 2011.
Rod Phillips: Mr. Phillips, who succeeded Mr. Tory as head of the CivicAction advocacy group, will also be a member of Mr. Tory's transition team, according to sources.
Mr. Phillips is also chairman of the board at Postmedia Network Canada Corp., and former head of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. He was a chief of staff to mayor Mel Lastman, is a well-known Conservative and ruled out running to succeed Tim Hudak as Ontario Progressive Conservative leader earlier this year.
Nick Kouvalis: As a former chief of staff to Rob Ford and mastermind behind two consecutive winning mayoral campaigns – for Mr. Ford in 2010, and now Mr. Tory – Mr. Kouvalis knows city hall inside and out. He will definitely be part of the transition team.
Joe Pennachetti: Mr. Pennachetti, the city manager, will likely be asked to serve as a key member of Mr. Tory's team – helping to ease the newcomer into the bureaucracy of city hall. Mr. Pennachetti announced his retirement in August, but will not officially step down until the end of November.
David Soknacki: A source on Mr. Tory's campaign said Mr. Soknacki – the former Scarborough city councillor who dropped out of the mayoral race last month – will likely also be asked to join the team. Mr. Soknacki won over many supporters with his quirky, social-media-driven mayoral campaign, but after failing to gain a critical mass of support, officially bowed out in September.
Mr. Tory has yet to name his chief of staff, but a source said the search has already begun, and will likely be finalized within days.
Amanda Galbraith: As Mr. Tory's campaign spokesman, Ms. Galbraith is well known to members of the city hall press gallery, and will likely be asked to stay on to work for Mr. Tory. Ms. Galbraith, a former political staffer in Ottawa, has worked for both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and cabinet minister John Baird.