NEWS

McMahon takes first dive into the Beaches

[attach]2891[/attach]It was the first day of school and Mary-Margaret McMahon was hitting the books.

Though she doesn’t officially start until Dec.1, the newly elected Ward32 Beaches East-York councillor and her fellow newbie colleagues wereat city hall on Nov. 9 doing an orientation session. McMahon came awaywith “homework” – a think binder of council protocol.

And, judging by the amount of calls she’s been getting, McMahon better get up to speed – fast.

In an interview at city hall just weeks after the election, McMahonsaid she’s trying to get one step ahead, meeting with residents,businesses and developers to discuss ongoing files and projects in theward.

In a stunning win over embattled incumbent Sandra Bussin, McMahon got65 percent of the votes on election day, Bussin walked away with 25percent.

But faced with controversy after controversy this past election term proved to be her undoing.

McMahon even counts herself as a previous Bussin supporter.

“I voted for Sandra every time,” said McMahon, who’s lived in the ward for 19 years.

Beyond Bussin’s troubles, McMahon attributes her success on electionday to a number of factors. She knocked on doors daily for about 16weeks. Three other candidates dropped out of the race to support herand she got some high profile endorsements.

She admits there was a lot of anger towards Bussin, especially over the sole-source Tuggs beach café deal.

“There was an … ‘anybody but Bussin’ movement,” she said.

But McMahon brings her own local experience in the community, includingco-founding a local farmer’s market, which attracted new businesses toDanforth.

[attach]2892[/attach]McMahon said she’s a woman of action and promises the same approach as councillor.

“I will host regular town halls at three libraries so people can bringup joys and concerns and a vision for the community,” said McMahon, wholives in the Danforth and Woodbine area with her husband, Jim, andchildren, Liam and Becca.

She describers herself as a “doer” who doesn’t like to “burden” othersby asking for help. She said the transition into her new job is goingrelatively well even without help from outgoing Councillor Bussin.

“I have not heard from (Bussin) or her staff. It’s disappointing.”

Returning veteran Councillor Pam McConnell has reached out by havingmany of the 15 females on council to her condo on Nov. 8, said McMahon.

And she’s met with many of the new councillors for coffee to talk shop.

“One councillor said, ‘it’s nice to know you have friends before you get to school.’”