Saturday, September 18, 1999

James Rusk

p. A16.

Mayor eyes police board position

Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman may appoint himself to the city's Police Services Board when an expected vacancy develops later this year, council sources said yesterday.

The sources said that, when the issue of an appointment to the board comes up in closed meetings at City Hall, the mayor has openly speculated about the possibility of naming himself to the board.

The board's vice-chairwoman councillor Judy Sgro, recently won the Liberal nomination for an forth-coming federal by-election in York West.

While no date has been set for the by-election, which is viewed as a safe Liberal seat, the vote is most likely to be held in November. This would mean Ms. Sgro's spot on the police board would be open by the time the council holds its mid-December meeting.

Although, the ink is barely dry on Ms. Sgro's nomination papers, jockeying for the position on the Police Services Board, one of the most coveted appointments at City Hall, has already started.

While councillors such as Kyle Rae — who has expressed interest in the job in the past — Frances Nunziata and Doug Holyday are seen as candidates for the position, one of the most powerful councillors at City Hall has written the mayor to ask for the job.

City budget chief Tom Jakobek said he is not averse to altering or relinquishing some of his other duties to take the police board post. In his letter to the mayor, he indicated that he might sit on the budget committee, rather than chair it, if he were to be on the police board.

Sources indicated that, while the mayor can see advantages to naming Mr. Jakobek to the job — not the least being that his sharp-tongued manner as budget chief has offended city councillors and bureaucrats — the mayor is also concerned about geographic balance on the board.

Like councillor Olivia Chow who was appointed to the police board this summer, Mr. Jakobek represents an old City of Toronto ward.

They noted that whoever is named to replace Ms. Sgro will be on the board only for 10 to 11 months before the new council is elected next fall.

Toronto Police clippings… [Fiona Stewart]

Created: October 8, 2000
Last modified: October 8, 2000
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