LEVY: Doug Ford expected to slash unwieldy Toronto council in half

The changes to the Act are also expected to introduce a strong mayor system that will give Toronto’s mayor the power to craft a city budget, to hire and fire key city officials including the police chief and to veto decisions by council. Most large U.S. cities, including New York and L.A., operate on a strong mayor system with far fewer councillors than Toronto’s 47.While Ford didn’t run on a platform of reducing Toronto council specifically, he often said during his term at City Hall from 2010-14 that council was far too large and dysfunctional. He did promise during this recent campaign, however, to reduce the cost and size of government.

Councillor Cesar Palacio, who has been pushing for the reduction, called the prospect of changes from Ford “great news.

“This reflects his mandate to reduce duplication, to reduce waste, to find efficiencies and to make government more functional for the benefit of the public,” he said Thursday night, noting he’s found it near impossible to get things done at City Hall because council is so “dysfunctional, political and chaotic.”

His colleague Giorgio Mammoliti said he’s been calling for strong mayor powers for a long time.

“He (Ford) said he was going to do it…I hope he does,” he said. “It’s the best thing for the city and Toronto taxpayers.”