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Mike Del Grande steps down as city's budget chief

TORONTO, Ont. –  Expressing disappointment with the city’s latest budget, Coun. Mike Del Grande has stepped down after serving two years as budget chief.

The Ward 39 city councillor handed in a letter of resignation to Mayor Rob Ford and City Manager Joe Pennachetti Wednesday — just hours after the 2013 budget was approved.

“I was quite concerned with councillors wanting to do spending based on emotion as opposed to evidence-based,” Del Grande told CityNews Channel late Wednesday night.

In December, as the budget committee was close to finalizing the 2013 budget plan, he threatened to resign if councillors tried to add millions of dollars in spending back.

On Wednesday, council voted to add another $12 million to the budget.

But Del Grande said he wanted to finish what he started before calling it quits.

“I handed in my resignation after everything had been completed with the budget.”

Del Grande said he was disconcerted with a motion that urged for more transparency during the budget process.

“I indicated to [council] that I felt that was a vindictive point-of-view, a personal point-of-view.”

“They voted 25 to 20 to do just that. I said, ‘well, time for me to go.'”

Del Grande said the budget process is “frustrating.”

“That’s part of the challenge. It’s a heavy load.”

But he said he devoted much of his time to the city’s finances for Torontonians.

“I literally lived the budget and gave up a lot of things – I gave up birthdays, I gave up holidays, I gave up all kinds of things – and I did it for the benefit of the people of Toronto.”

“That was my motivation.”

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