toronto maria augimeri

Maria Augimeri appointed new TTC chair

Veteran councillor Maria Augimeri is the new TTC chair. Late this afternoon, 23 members of council carefully wrote the name of the long-time York Centre representative on their sheet of blue ballot paper, two more than for rival Councillor Josh Colle.

Augimeri promised to deliver "good, solid work" while in the position but was at pains to position herself as a temporary placeholder. "I'm a very hard worker and I run meetings very well," she said. "I hope with Andy Byford as a partner to move forward to try and claw back the funding we lost from the province so many years ago."

Outgoing chair Stintz will formally resign on Saturday to focus on her upcoming run for mayor in the October election.

Augimeri, a 16-year council veteran, supported the light rail option for Scarborough while Colle, a councillor nearing the end of his first term, voted for a subway extension. It's not expected that either of the candidates will re-visit the issue in the remaining months of this term of council.

"The people have spoken - they've spoken five times, so I say the issue is a closed issue now," she said. "The funding has to be found. I'm disappointed in the extra half per cent people are going to be paying for it, I don't think that's something people swallow very it well, it's a bitter pill."

Mayor Rob Ford tried unsuccessfully to place his brother Councillor Doug Ford on the ballot - only existing TTC board members are eligible to hold the position. Both Ford brothers and Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly voted for Colle.

City council will vote again on a TTC chair following the municipal election later this year.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Chris Bateman/blogTO


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