Meet A Mayoral Candidate XXVIII

August 27, 2010

It’s that time of week with another Friday upon us to Meet A Mayoral Candidate! So come on down: Michael Flie.

We’re going to mix it up this week, juggle the format around a little. Instead of waiting until the end of the post to ask the question we’ve been asking all the candidates, we’re going to begin with it.

Mr. Flie? If our current mayor would like to see his legacy as that of the Transit Mayor, how would a Mayor Flie like to see his legacy written?

Michael Flie: “I would like to see my legacy written as the ‘People Mayor.’ A representative for the people by the people. A Mayor who will bring about change that will transform this great city into a shiny example of a major metropolis that supports its people and its needs without incurring huge debts to do so.”

OK, now wait a minute. I believe candidate HiMY SYeD has already taken the moniker of the ‘Peoples’ Mayor’. ‘The People Mayor’ may well be a mayoral descriptor infringement. Let us confer with the judges and we’ll get back to you.

Also? The ‘for the people by the people’ riff may be a little too American for our tastes. You might need to tone that down a bit.

Moreover, as a legacy, it’s all too broad. You have to be pithy. Short, sharp and to the point.

To be fair, this is a failing many of the mayoral candidates are exhibiting in the campaign this year, both front runners and lesser knowns. Prone to broad generalities and meaningless platitudes that ultimately make little impression and offer nothing to hold on to. It’s impossible to tell exactly why it is they want to be mayor.

The one exception of course is Rob Ford. He has boiled down his legacy maker into an easy to remember mantra that he punches out relentlessly and mindlessly with little regard to context that brings to mind autistic Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. Stop the gravy train! We don’t have a revenue problem. We’ve got a spending problem!

It’s no coincidence that he’s now leading the pack.

This lack of focus on the part of candidate Michael Flie is something of a surprise since he’s a Marketing and Advertising Specialist. If anyone should be able to boil down a legacy to its barest essence, you’d think a marketing and advertising specialist could. So let’s unleash Mr. Flie from the legacy mode and allow him freer rein.

Michael Flie, Guardian for the People. “I will ensure that the police get better training, better equipment, multi-purpose helicopters that will perform such duties as transportation of equipment and people, search and rescue, recon, surveillance, high speed pursuits, fire support, research and crowd control.”

Michael Flie, Financial Protector for the People. “My goal to establish a balanced budget, and pay off the debt within a 10 year period at a fixed interest rate with the Bank of Canada.”

Michael Flie, Entrepreneur for the People. “I will establish new industries and new business for our City that will generate revenue strictly for Toronto and thereby offset our debt and curb the need to increase taxes. The goal to make our city more financially independent so that our city operates in the black not in the red.”

Michael Flie, Muse for the People. “My goal would be to create more support for Theatre, Ballet, Opera, and Music. Allowing people to expand their options in their pursuit of their career. As well as optimize the opportunities that are being created here by Hollywood for the creation of movies and tv shows.”

Things begin to crystallize about the Flie For Mayor campaign. He is a fiscal conservative, partial to a more aggressive police force but socially liberal with an eye towards the arts as a way of keeping the city vibrant. Flie favours “european style bike lanes and sidewalks and roads … as part of the New Urban and Planning Progam” although he feels “some roads downtown can not be expanded to accommodate bike lanes due to safety reasons. Compromise … might be a ONE WAY bike Lane.” In his view, taking the TTC is too expensive and some privatization may be in order although he’d first try something like a “Balanced Budget Allocation … and increase efficiency to expenditures allowing the TTC to sustain or increase its logistics without requiring pay increases.” What exactly that means, we’re not sure but will take the blame for the lack of comprehension.

For what it’s worth, Michael Flie states that “as Mayor, my stance on marriage for all the citizens of Toronto is covered already in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination…” He would aggressively deal with helping the homeless and the victims of abuse. All of this he would pursue while freezing property taxes – the city’s main source of revenue – for 2 years. How exactly would he do that? “Increase the city’s economic independence by implementing several businesses that are designed to generate revenue strictly for the city of Toronto.” We await word of what exactly those businesses would be.

It seems to us here that the problem with focus for Michael Flie is that he is endeavouring to be all things to all people. Deficit hawk for the Rob Ford crowd and socially enlightened for all the rest of us. That’s a mighty tough tightrope to walk. Many have tried. Few have made it successfully to the other side.

But at least Mr. Flie’s intentions in running for mayor are honourable and inclusive as he circles back in for another attempt at a legacy landing. “My legacy will be a city that will always shine and prosper because of my action and because of the people of this city.”

dutifully submitted by Cityslikr