The 6th Day Of Christmas

On the 6th day of Christmas and I could go for the easy goose egg joke on this one but it’s all about being Xmas-y positive, right?

Jaye Robinson, Ward 25 Don Valley West

This one I write, torn, as Councillor Robinson could just as easily be on the 2011 Most Disappointing Councillor List if such a thing existed which it doesn’t because, well, it’s Christmas and that would just be mean. Appointed as an at-large member of Mayor Ford’s powerful Executive Committee along with fellow rookie councillor Michelle Berardinetti, there was some hope of the two bringing a moderating voice to the otherwise largely hard right boys club. While, given recent events, Councillor Berardinetti has gone all in with the mayor, Robinson has remained an infuriating fence sitter.

A long time city bureaucrat, Councillor Robinson unseated a right of centre incumbent, Cliff Jenkins, in the 2010 election on a vaguely Fordish platform of fiscal efficiency and accountability. Yet she was part of a department that brought Nuit Blanche to life, showing that the public and private sectors could work together in a positive fashion that benefitted the city. Jaye Robinson wasn’t one of those conservatives whose sole interest in governing was to destroy government.

But she stood by silently as the Ford administration did its best to inflict grievous damage on Toronto. Rarely speaking up, Councillor Robinson even made a habit of ducking out of votes in order to not be attached to them while helping to enable their passage. Principled in her lack of guiding principles.

Then came the Ford Brothers’attempted waterfront land grab. Robinson found her voice. Leading the charge from the Executive Committee, she spoke out passionately and loudly in defence of the current plans in progress for the area, signalling to the mayor that he simply would not have the votes to pull of the coup. A consensus was quickly found, covering the mayor’s tactical retreat.

Councillor Robinson is also helping to fend off the mayor’s axe wielding on the Toronto Public Library system. Along with another rookie councillor, Sarah Doucette, Robinson has helped stiffen the backbone of the mayor’s handpicked board and may well find herself back in the spotlight in the new year as the budget chief has vowed to enact the 10% cut Mayor Ford has demanded. It could be a defining moment in her relationship with this administration.

That is the bright light of hope I latch onto. In 2012, Councillor Jaye Robinson will find her way as a voice of reason and compromise at city council and establish the tone for what it is to be a moderate conservative.

shining starly submitted by Cityslikr

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