Toronto

Joe Pennachetti to stick around at John Tory's request

Mayor-elect John Tory has convinced the retiring city manager to stick around for a little while longer, so that he can help the new council get through its first budget under its new mayor.

City manager will stay to help next mayor and council through 'crucial' transition period

The city manager will delay his retirement at the request of mayor-elect John Tory. 2:07

Mayor-elect John Tory has convinced the retiring city manager to stick around for a little while longer, so that he can help the new council get through its first budget under its new mayor.

Joe Pennachetti, who was set to retire as the city's top bureaucrat at the end of November, said he agreed to stay to help the city with "significant issues," particularly with the budget process, over the next few months.

"We do have a critical four or five months now to advance the city," said Pennachetti.

This letter from mayor-elect John Tory outlines why he asked city manager Joe Pennachetti to delay his retirement. (Lorenda Reddekopp/CBC)

He said the city faces "key intergovernmental issues" over the next four or five months, including issues involving transit and funding from senior levels of government.

Tory, who officially takes over from outgoing Mayor Rob Ford in December, said Pennachetti's experience will be helpful guiding the city through the transition.

"It will be of great benefit to the city to have the services of Joe Pennachetti through this budget," said Tory. "Every additional day that we could get in terms of service from Joe Pennachetti would be a day that would be good for the city of Toronto."

Keeping Pennachetti beyond November will require a report to council.

Coun. Josh Colle was among a group of councillors who attended a news conference on Thursday, when mayor-elect John Tory announced he'd convinced city manager Joe Pennachetti to delay his retirement plans. (CBC)

Councillors who attended Tory's announcement at the invitation of the mayor-elect agreed that Pennachetti's willingness to stay on is a win for the city.

Coun. Josh Colle, recently re-elected to a second term in Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence, said that Pennachetti can help guide the new mayor through the budget process.

"I think having some continuity with the city manager is a really wise idea," he said Thursday.

Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong said the veteran city manager knows the process inside and out.

"Joe Pennachetti's done this so many times before and his experience will be invaluable," he said.

Tory was elected mayor on Oct. 27, beating out Coun. Doug Ford and former NDP MP Olivia Chow.

With a report from the CBC's Lorenda Reddekopp