If not this, then what?
In the wake of a temper tantrum at a GO Transit station by David Price, Mayor Rob Ford’s director of logistics and operations, the Mayor has done everything in his power to pretend such issues are not occurring on his watch. However, he may have slipped up when responding to an inquiry from a publication with which he rarely finds himself at odds. I speak; of course, of the Toronto Sun. Veteran Sun City Hall beat journalist Don Peat questioned the Mayor regarding the internal investigation by GO Transit and Metrolinx into Price’s actions. That prompted something of a peculiar response. The Mayor stated, “It’s actually no one’s business what happens in my office. I take care of the people that work for me and they do a great job, as you see.”
That hardly sounds like the candidate I recall demanding “respect for taxpayers” a mere three years ago.
Amid rising property taxes and an ever expanding budget, the Mayor signed David Price, his former high school football coach to handle much of his political outreach to the tune of approximately $125,000 per year at the taxpayers’ expense. As a matter of comparison Norm Kelly, Deputy Mayor of Toronto and elected Councillor from Ward 40, will be paid approximately $102,000 for his service to the City. If this is not the business of Torontonians – those who pay Mayor Ford’s and Mr. Price’s salaries – than I am not sure what else could. To suggest otherwise would be; dare I say, a demonstration of disrespect for the taxpayer.
More to the point; it is comments such as these from the Mayor that harkens back to the scandal-plagued days of the previous federal Liberal government. Mayor Ford and his staff have clearly developed an overwhelming sense of entitlement. It appears as though they truly believe that the rules do not apply to them. It appears as though they have forgotten that they work for the citizens of Toronto and not the other way around.
What will this mean come October 2014?
While I still believe that the Mayor would beat a polarizing candidate on the left in a one-on-one race, it is this sense of entitlement that could challenge the Mayor on the right and encourage conservative councillors such as Karen Stintz and Denzil Minnan Wong to challenge the Mayor. Given the Mayor’s propensity to spending money the City no longer has, perhaps it is challenges such as these he should be worrying most about.
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