TORONTO, Ont. – Long-time North York city councillor Frank Di Giorgio has been named the city’s new budget chief.
Di Giorgio, who represents York South-Weston, accepted the nomination by Mayor Rob Ford and the executive committee voted unanimously on the pick Tuesday.
Di Giorgio replaces Coun. Mike Del Grande, who resigned after city council approved the 2013 operating budget in January.
“I know he’s going to do a fantastic job,” Ford said Tuesday. “He understands the value of a tax dollar and that’s the most important aspect of being a budget chief.”
Di Giorgio said he is ready for the budget chief role.
“I’ve been on the budget committee. With that experience, I’m more than happy to step up to the plate.”
He plans to tackle the job differently than his predecessor, he said.
“I’m not a detailed line-by-line person,” he said.
“I rely on managerial people to do the tasks that are necessary to bring cost under control. I’m a great believer in giving them that responsibility and asking them to deliver.”
Di Giorgio is tasked with a property tax freeze and reducing or eliminating the land transfer tax.
He said he thinks the Ford administration has addressed much of the “gravy.”
“I think a lot of the gravy has been looked at and caught,” Di Giorgio said.
“I think there’s probably little low-hanging fruit at this time. I think we need to perhaps look to generating greater revenues and looking at opportunities to bring in other revenue, other than increasing taxes.”
Coun. Adam Vaughan said Di Giorgio is a calculated choice.
“They needed somebody and they’re running out of bench strength,” he said.
“If you take a look at [Di Giorgio's] voting record, it’s been drifting further and further away from Ford. My guess is this a way of locking his vote in.”