Longtime city bureaucrat Jim Hart appointed as new Ward 44 councillor
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:03AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:22PM EDT
A longtime city bureaucrat who worked in the office of the late Ron Moeser has been appointed as the new councillor for Ward 44.
Jim Hart received 27 votes following a day-long debate at city hall on Wednesday.
He was one of 47 candidates who applied for the job, which Moeser had held up until his death in April.
Following Moeser’s passing, which came following a battle with lymphoma, council voted to appoint a successor to represent Ward 44 until the end of the term on Nov. 30, 2018 rather than holding a costly byelection.
Hart was considered to be a frontrunner for the job along with former city councillor and mayoral candidate David Soknacki.
Speaking with CP24 on Wednesday afternoon, Hart said he hopes to carry on Moeser’s strong record on the “environment and natural green spaces.”
“When you look at the ward, the ward is a beautiful ward, there are great parks, great forestry and the Scarborough Waterfront Trial – Ron started that off,” Hart said.
Hart said he hopes to immediately meet with all of the community association presidents in his ward and begin the process of reviewing all the active development applications, many of which he said he has some familiarity with due to his time in Moeser’s office.
As for his political future, he told CP24 that he has no intention to seek re-election in 2018 and has other matters to attend to, mainly “hitting some golf balls.”
Hart previously spent 30 years working at the City of Toronto, including a period of time as the city’s general manager of parks, forestry and recreation prior to his retirement.
He joined Moeser’s office on a volunteer basis following his cancer diagnosis.
In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, Tory described Hart as someone who is “passionate about public service, Scarborough and Ward 44 in particular.”
Tory said that he believes Hart is “fully prepared to address residents' needs until the next election.”