Budget chief feuding with mayor's office: Sources
Mike Del Grande, an accountant by trade and well-known at City Hall for his gruff demeanour, has been demanding more input into the operating and capital budgets about to launch, the sources say.
But the compressed cycle -- getting two budgets totalling more than $11 billion released, debated, amended and passed in two months -- leaves scant time for advance political input. City staff are furiously crunching numbers, trying to follow Ford's directive to freeze taxes with no major service cuts.
The budget chief has been, essentially, superflous, and won't get a starring role until next week when the draft documents are released and he will become tweaker-in-chief.
Which is not to say Ford's office -- namely chief of staff Nick Kouvalis, policy director Mark Towhey and the mayor's advisor/brother/councillor Doug Ford -- hasn't been in constant contact with city manager Joe Pennachetti and his deputy Cam Weldon. But Del Grande, known for wanting to dive into the numerical nitty gritty, has not been at the centre of those discussions.
One source said there is an "uproar" brewing between the Ward 39 councillor and Ford's office. The other said tempers are flaring.
Del Grande refused to speak to a reporter who visited his office Friday, with staff members relaying a message that he is not talking to the Star.