Dec. 10, 2014
By Adam Martin-Robbins
Vaughan’s four regional council representatives are backing former Whitchurch-Stouffville mayor Wayne Emmerson in his bid to become York Region’s next chairperson, Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua revealed Wednesday.
“We believe he can best lead this council,” said Bevilacqua, who represents the city at the upper-tier municipality along with regional councillors Michael Di Biase, Gino Rosati and Mario Ferri.
The region’s 20 members, representing York’s nine municipalities, will elect the new chair at their first meeting tonight (Thursday).
Along with Emmerson, the two other declared hopefuls to replace York Region chair Bill Fisch, who retired last month after 17 years at the helm, are veteran Markham Regional Councillor Jim Jones and Newmarket Regional Councillor John Taylor.
But an inside source says Jones plans to drop out of the race at the last minute and throw his support behind Emmerson.
In addition to the support of Vaughan’s four representatives, Emmerson said in an interview he has the backing of at least 10 other regional councillors, including King Township Mayor Steve Pellegrini, for a total of 15 votes.
“I feel very thankful to the four members of regional council for Vaughan,” the 61-year-old veteran politician said. “I do thank them immensely for their support and their feeling that I can do a good job at the Region of York.”
Emmerson was the first to announce his plans to seek the regional chair position and he did not run in the October municipal election.
Both Jones and Taylor, meanwhile, announced they would be making a bid for the post after being re-elected about six weeks ago.
If one of them wins, they would have to give up their council seat forcing their respective council to either appoint a replacement or, more likely, hold a costly byelection to fill the vacancy.