On The Other Hand, Maybe Some Debaters Should Be Stifled

While trolling through our Twitter site, I came across this little gem from Jonathon Goldsbie about the conduct of a certain councillor now being touted as mayoral material. I highly urge anyone interested in the municipal campaign to take a moment to read through it. It is the city’s Integrity Commissioner Report on a code of conduct violation.

I won’t go into all the details but, in short, Councillor Ford twice blew off questions of confidentially, once during a radio broadcast and then again during a council meeting. He subsequently tried to bluster and bluff his way in order to avoid taking responsibility before finally being cornered into apologizing.

Allow me to just give a few snippets from the report as it makes its way toward recommending a reprimand be given to Councillor Ford for yet another breach of the official Code of Conduct.

A Council meeting was called for August 5 and 6, 2009. One of the agenda items was for Council to approve the purchase of a residential property in North York as part of the “Strategy for the Implementation of the North York Centre Plan Service Road-North York Centre.” A report and a confidential attachment concerning the real estate transaction were circulated to the Councillors because it was on the Council agenda. Councillor Ford did not read the report [bolding ours], but instead he focussed on the recommendation that Council approve the sale of a house, and the costs associated with the proposed deal. He objected to both because he said he didn’t think a recession was the right time for the City to “buy a house.”

Councillor Ford said that he knew he couldn’t defeat the motion, but that he wanted to bring the matter to the attention of his colleagues and he asked the matter be held for debate.

… Councillor Ford said that he decided to reveal the confidential information on the radio show on the morning of August 6, because he thought that Council had already dealt with the item on the 5th of August which would mean the figures could be made public. Councillor Ford admitted that he did not actually check to see if the item had been debated in his absence [bolding ours]. He also knew that he hadn’t spoken to it on the 5th of August, but he said that sometimes items are dealt with in his absence. Accordingly, he took the data from his purple sheet, made notes on his agenda for the radio program and made the confidential information public during the broadcast on the morning of August 6, 2009.

Councillor Ford acknowledged that he did not read the report to Council about the transaction [bolding ours]. If he had, he would have seen that Council was being asked to “authorize the release of the confidential information and recommendations in Attachment 1, once the transaction has closed.” In other words, Councillor Ford’s justification for releasing the information did not apply, even if Council had debated the item.

And so it goes. The man kicks up a fuss over an issue he has not taken the time to even read through thoroughly. And when he makes a mistake he only admits to it when he’s trapped into a corner of his own making with double-talk and obfuscation.

Can we please stop taking Rob Ford seriously as a contender for the office of mayor of Toronto. Regardless of how angry you may be at the state of the city and how it’s being run, Rob Ford is not the solution. In fact, he may be part of the problem.

astoundingly submitted by Urban Sophisticat

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