The Mayoral Shakedown

There was a moment during the recess. A recess called by Deputy Speaker John Parker after Mayor Rob Ford lost his shit. Vintage Rob Ford losing his shit. angrybirdLosing his shit like we had not seen since he was Councillor Rob Ford.

The matter in hand was about parking. A proposed development in Councillor Adam Vaughan’s ward was going ahead without the amount of parking spaces the mayor deemed appropriate. Parking spaces the developer didn’t want to build.

The mayor thought it inconceivable anyone would want to live somewhere they had to take the streetcar to and from. Or bike in the winter. It was just another project Councillor Vaughan was trying to sneak through under cover of the dying moments of the third day of council meeting.

Heated words. A time out called. Both sides retired to their respective corners.

In that moment of recess, Rob Ford looked very contented. Unfazed by the fact he’d just got walloped in a previous vote over another proposed development in Councillor Vaughan’s ward that the city planning staff was not yet entirely on board with.alrightmrdemille Another item he’d lost his shit over.

But clearly, losing a vote hardly mattered to the mayor. Losing his shit was the whole point. He needed the clip, the sound bite, the TV moment. “Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”

Throughout the three days of this council meeting, Mayor Ford had been absent, both physically and.. what? Mentally? Emotionally? Spiritually? He’d checked out. Yet he hung around yesterday long after the higher profile items and motions had been dealt with. Long after his presence had been required. He wasn’t engaged so much as he was lurking.

“A shakedown! A shakedown of developers!” he bellowed on the first item he’d held for no apparent reason other than the opportunity to bellow ‘Shakedown!’ Under questioning, it was revealed he knew absolutely nothing about the development. He hadn’t talked with staff. He hadn’t attended community council meetings on the issue. He most certainly hadn’t consulted with Councillor Vaughan about the development.

He only knew that a million dollars in Section 37 money had been ponied up during the modification period between plans and that city staff still weren’t entirely ready to sign off on the project. hohumThat the gears for an OMB appeal had been set in motion and the city faced not only losing the Section 37 money but also the possibility of seeing an earlier version of the development nobody wanted didn’t factor into his thinking a bit. The mayor never uttered the words ‘corruption’ or ‘skulduggery’. ‘Shakedown’ was going to have to do.

Of course, under pressure, he retracted the statement. There must be limits even he has to going to court to defend his indefensible claims. But his purpose had been served. He’s Rob Ford, dammit! Listen to him roar! The base’ll love it.

Or at least that must have been his thinking.

The fact that the likes of Councillor Frank Di Giorgio saw through the ruse should set some alarm bells off for the dwindling ranks of Ford Nation. As any regular reader here knows, we’re no friend of Councillor Di Giorgio. He is often an object of ridicule for us. But during the insane hullabaloo the mayor triggered, the councillor made his way over to the planning staff, had a conversation with them and came back to make a speech in favour of Councillor Vaughan’s item. He even waved off Councillor Peter Milczyn’s placating motion of deferral. During the vote, with the mayor hissing at him and making menacing faces, Councillor Di Giorgio stood his ground and voted against the mayor.

He saw what we all saw.

Mayor Ford is unprincipled. Mayor Ford doesn’t give a shit about good governance. Mayor Ford doesn’t give a shit about good planning. Mayor Ford doesn’t give a flying fuck about the unwieldy oversight the Ontario Municipal Board possesses on development in this city. Mayor Ford doesn’t fucking respect the taxpayers.runforyourlife

Mayor Ford only cares about the Ford brand.

That’s what this whole unseemly set-to was about. Reasserting the maverick mayor. The lone wolf. Captain Shouty. Admiral Bluster.

Red-faced populism masking a deep seated contempt of democracy.

The mayor had reached back into that reserve in the hopes of reviving his Everyman image in the eyes of those still wanting to believe that’s who he was. It’s all he’s got. He seemed satisfied with his performance, perhaps even emboldened that once again he’d come out, drubbed, on the losing end of a council vote. He’d summoned the black magic that had worked so miraculously before, counting on enough people being fooled a second time to save him from the more ignoble fate that is slowly taking shape and waiting in those dark clouds off in the horizon.

still reelingly submitted by Cityslikr

9 thoughts on “The Mayoral Shakedown

  1. While the Fords seethed every other councillor stood in support of Vaughn’s city building skills and his ability to navigate the process of plan development\execution in this city. Even councillor Nunziata rose to try and provide a coherent argument for what the Mayor had vomited on the floor. Ford in essence retorted with “yeah what she said” (quotations mine). When Perks made a dig about Ford’s inability to grasp the complexity of the situation the even-keeled Deputy Speaker Parker sneeringly chastised Perks for the clever slight. Amazingly….both Fords missed the insult. I thought Rob Ford as a councillor was ill prepared for politics….Mayor Ford is a maniac lacking in style and substance.

  2. Rob Fucking Ford; Mayor is a hypocrite because he used $75,000.00 of section 37 money to benefit his Don Bosco football team with repairs to their change rooms while councillor. You know the team that he will continue coaching in the future to win that elusive Metro Bowl…

    • Hey Sonny, you realize the first team to use the “new” Don Bosco change rooms was R Ford’s entry into the OMFL the “Rexdale Raiders”….see their facebook page 04/29/11 as an added feature there is an R Ford video recruiting for summer ball….

      • Hey What!(gLee)
        I’m listening to the brothers Ford, Crawford & Milczyn. Ford should lose the appeal because he is INSANE. He puts the root of his problem because he wants to help kids. I would say well before that and the CoIA vote violation was his asshole attitude.
        see; his makes up his own definitions and thinks lies are the truth.

        P.S. he could be Toronto, CANADAs Rush Limbaugh

  3. People need illusions to believe anything is possible. Oftentimes, that’s all that allows progress in our world. Problem is, Mayor Ford is now mad AND frustrated he can’t come up with any more illusions to conjure out of the big C Cauldron. All he has left now is what he started with: his (now tired) mix of brand. Correct, ‘Slicker.

  4. Pingback: The latest Ford meltdown: whatevs. It’s what he does | #TOpoli | Pressed by Sol Chrom

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