Sellors's future beyond city hall

Defeated Ward 22 candidate plans to stay in government relations or move to communications

After a decade at city hall, Chris Sellors is moving on.

Sellors, former executive assistant to retiring councillor Michael Walker, lost his determined council bid in St. Paul’s in late October.

“I was honoured to serve St. Paul’s for the better part of a decade,” Sellors said.

He started volunteering with Walker in 1998 and had been working for St. Paul’s at city hall since August 2001.

“It’s an amazing experience that I’ll cherish forever,” Sellors said. “I was honoured to help build neighbourhoods and communities. I will miss it.”

Josh Matlow won the Ward 22 council race with 52.39 percent of votes. Sellors received 35.40 percent.

Some job highlights for Sellors include the first council motion he wrote for Walker.

“It was requesting an inquiry into (Native-Canadian) Dudley George’s death.”

Sellors also helped push for some big reforms, including the introduction of the lobbyist registry, and election finance reform to ban corporate and union donations. One of the highlights of his job was meeting former prime minister, John Turner.

Just three or four months into the job in 2001, Sellors was in the former PM’s living room trying to resolve a traffic issue for the ward constituent. Turner ended up being an honourary campaign chair for the Sellors campaign.

Like most defeated candidates, Sellors is now looking for a new career.

“I want to stay in government relations or strategic communications,” he said. “I know a lot of the players at city hall.”

Sellors plans to keep an eye on the comings and goings at city hall.

“There’s a mayor (Rob Ford) who’s kind of controversial. He’ll have to reconcile his campaign promises with what he can do and get consensus to get it through council. While he gets elected citywide, he only has one vote.”

One of the changes Sellors would like to see is more funding for St. Paul’s, which is the fourth busiest ward for new developments. As such, there are millions of dollars from developers for Section 37 community benefits and parks levies but not all of that is spent in the ward. Some of it has spread to other wards in the same district, he said.

On his website, he has a message for St. Paul’s:

“We ran a strong campaign based on substantive ideas that echoed residents’ issues and concerns and sought to move this city forward,” he states before congratulating his opponents.

“My utmost thanks and appreciation go out to Councillor Michael Walker,” writes Sellors. “The years I have spent at his side have taught me much about staying true to one’s core beliefs, taking a stand and bucking the status quo when required, as well as relying on character and integrity to move through difficult times.”

Sellors has been in touch with many local residents’ groups offering to volunteer support and advice to help St. Paul’s. He said it’s too soon to say if he’ll run in the 2014 election.

One thing that keeps him busy these days is playing with three-year-old son Jack, who was often asleep when he came home after a full day of campaigning.

Sellors and his wife Elizabeth are expecting a second son in two months.

“I’m really looking forward to it.”

About this article:

By: Kris Scheuer
Posted: Dec 1 2010 3:37 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto