Cold Toronto

Morning Brew: Rob Ford's chief of staff to step down, Toronto's private streets, Ward 9 election win called into question, Jays trade Vernon Wells, year-round patios coming to town?

Nick Kouvalis, the man who is often credited as the architect of Rob Ford's mayoral campaign, is stepping down as the mayor's chief of staff. At some point in the next few weeks, he'll transition to a role in which he spearheads the effort to privatize city garbage services. Rumours of Kouvalis's depature have been swirling for a while, but statements made by both parties yesterday showed no hint of animosity between them. Instead this is the explanation that Kouvalis offered: "It's been fun working with these guys [Rob and Doug Ford] on the campaign. I was never really supposed to be the chief of staff ... I wanted to try it and they needed someone to get them started."

The Post takes a look at private streets in Toronto, unsurprisingly paying particular attention to Wychwood Park. The gated community of some 60 odd homes north of Davenport between Bathurst and Christie contracts out snow removal and road repair with residents paying a fee commensurate with the size of their property and its street frontage. The owner of an average sized home would appear to pay about $600. So here's a question: would you absorb that cost for faster service and to avoid being left high and dry in the event of a strike?

This could be interesting. Ward 9 councillor Maria Augimeri's seat is being challenged by former rival Gus Cusimano, who lost by just 89 votes. Cusimano claims that there were problems with over 400 voting forms filled out on the day of the election, many of which weren't signed. "I've got a problem with the integrity of the system," Cusimano said. "As a candidate, as a voter, everyone expects a fair process. We live in a democratic society here. In this case, the process broke down."

The Blue Jays traded Vernon Wells to Anaheim yesterday in exchange for catcher Mike Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera. In moving Wells the Jays lose their highest paid player, but also one of their best. But, to have any hope of signing Jose Bautista to a long term deal, they had to get rid of Wells's contract. There are conflicting reports as to whether the team will carry any of his salary post-trade.

IN BRIEF

Photo by Still the Oldie in the blogTO Flickr pool.


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in MB Toronto

Morning Brew: Councillors say Fords are in conflict over sewage spill, PCs pitch relief line, TTC driver under fire, Presto likely delayed, and local moonshine hits LCBO

Morning Brew: Daniel Dale libel suit to proceed despite apology, communication system hobbled TTC Monday, more snow is due, and Ford (plus council) dances again

Morning Brew: Daniel Dale to proceed with libel action, fresh snow makes for sloppy roads, Mammoliti billed $25K for office renos, and council meeting ends in chaos

Morning Brew: Karen Stintz to step down as TTC chair, Rob Ford busts a move in church, Conrad Black hits out, and effigy burnt in protest at Queen subway shooting

Morning Brew: Doug Ford sorry for handing out cash at TCHC complex, Rob Ford silent on Daniel Dale libel suit, and NDP leader calls for Nelson Mandela station

Morning Brew: Integrity commissioner declines to probe crack scandal, reporters, a few councillors attend Ford's xmas party, and motion could re-open subway debate

Morning Brew: Mammoliti event under investigation, Fords should leave police budget talks, report calls for GO trains over relief line, and Rob Ford claymation

Morning Brew: Ford says Bill Blair politically motivated, cop sentenced for G20 assault, TTC free on NYE, tears at Const. Zivcic memorial, and a Winston Churchill statue