AUDIO: Del Grande Steps Down as Budget Chief
Michael Del Grande has stepped down as budget chief.
Del Grande had warned that if the city went over the proposed budget, he would step down from his post. Late Wednesday night he turned in his resignation to Mayor Rob Ford and City Manager Joe Pennachetti.
Del Grande was a guest on NewsTalk 1010's Late Shift with Don Landry and Bill Hayes shortly afterwards. He said, “I feel a lot of the pressure is off of me. I feel I won’t be vilified as much as I have been for the past three years trying to do a very difficult job, that some people, very flippant, to be very mean-spirited and nasty about the kind of work that’s required to fix things and I’ve tried to fix things and when I couldn’t fix tried to repair.”
When asked why he stepped down Del Grande says, "Motion 1B kinda just hit me, and I wasn't too happy with the vote on that one. That was basically what I told council i felt was personal. Well, that's the way I interpreted it. They were accusing that the budget process was not transparent."
Del Grande went on to say that he already had plenty of reaction from fellow councillors. ""Some councillors have already learned about this. I've gotten calls from staff as well, quite upset with my decision. But, I mean, at the end of analysis the common expression I hear is, I don't blame you."
With the possibility of a mayoral election on the horizon (depending on the verdict of Mayor Ford's appeal in his conflict of interest case), Del Grande was asked whether he would consider a run for Mayor, but that's not in the cards.
"No, I don't have, I've never had those ambitions. You need a million bucks to run for Mayor and I don't see anybody giving me a million dollars anytime soon. I'm just a journeyman. I do the job that is asked of me, finish the job and task, and move on to the next job or task. I'm really not interested in the limelight."
Finally, after being thanked for his work as budget chief by Bill Hayes and Don Landry, Del Grande said, "It's nice to hear now and then. It's nice to get encouraged. When you're left at the bottom of the mushroom pile, you know, that you're surrounded in, it kind of gets smelly down there so it's nice to hear every now and then. (It's) a little ray of sunshine coming through."
The budget was passed by city council on Wednesday with increases to the fire service and nutrition programs. It also came with an increase in property taxes a 2% hike this year or an average of 60 dollars for each homeowner.