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Councillor Mike Del Grande to run for Catholic School Board seat

Mike Del Grande says a motion that took aim at the budget process was a vote of no confidence against him. Del Grande would soon after resign his post as Toronto’s budget chief.

J.P. Moczulski/The Globe and Mail

Councillor Mike Del Grande is planning to run again, but not for the council seat he has held for the past 11 years.

The Scarborough councillor signed up on Monday to run for the Ward 7 Toronto Catholic School Board seat. The position has been held by his son John Del Grande since 2003.

In February, Mike Del Grande announced that he would not seek a fourth term of council, saying that he "lost the joy"` of the job. Mr. Del Grande had been a loyal ally of Mayor Rob Ford and served as budget chief. But as the mayor`s crack scandal evolved, Mr. Del Grande strongly opposed his behaviour.

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Mr. Del Grande says that part of what led him to change his mind about exiting politics was the reaction of constituents. "Many, many, many people stopped me everywhere. They hoped I stayed in some capacity in the public realm," he said in an interview.

Mr. Del Grande indicated that the workload of a trustee is less than that of a councillor, and is more along the lines of what he is looking for.

Before becoming a councillor in 2003, Mr. Del Grande served as a trustee since 1994. Former Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis is among six candidates running for Mr. Del Grande`s Ward 39 Scarborough-Agincourt council seat. Franco Ng, a former staffer to Mr. Del Grande, is also running.

While Mr. Del Grande`s son John is currently registered to run for the trustee seat, the councillor says they do not plan to run against each other, and indicated his son is looking to spend more time with his family.

Asked about issues facing the school board, Mr. Del Grande said he opposes selling off school land, a persistent issue that school boards face as they try to balance their budget.

"I don`t believe in selling off land, I don`t believe in selling off schools. They`re public assets that should be utiliized among all the boards and the city."

Mr. Del Grande, a practicing Catholic, has a Master's degree in Theological Studies, and occasionally took to invoking his religious values in council.

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