Nothing Against Councillor Mary Fragedakis But…

There’s a moment in Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s One Leg Too Few sketch, about a one-legged actor auditioning for the role of Tarzan, where Cook, conducting the audition, tells Moore, the actor, “Your right leg I like. I like your right leg. It’s a very lovely leg for the role. A lovely leg for the role, and I’ve got nothing against your right leg. Unfortunately… neither do you.”

I’ve got nothing against Councillor Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth). Unfortunately… that’s hardly a rousing ring of approval, is it? That’d be the very definition of damning with faint praise, if I understand the phrase properly.

I should say right here that I truly do try and cut the freshman class of 2010 some slack. Birthed onto council in a fiery tempest of toxic partisanship brought down upon them by a strictly by the book, us-versus-them administration. trialbyfireThey had to make some hard choices, and make them quickly.

They were either with the mayor, ag’in the mayor or ducking for cover in the much derided mush middle. Imagine gazelles, born onto the savannah just as the herd bolts in fear at the approach of a hungry, hunting lion. Get up, junior. Get up! This is no time to learn how to walk. Run! Run!!

It was evident early on where Councillor Fragedakis came down on that spectrum. Despite going along with stripping the city of revenue by eliminating the vehicle registration tax (many, many confirmed anti-Fordists made that mistake), she clearly took a spot hanging out with the non-friends of the mayor.

But she did so with little distinction. She got lost in the crowd. Try as I might, I can’t come up with one thing she took hold of, made her own. Councillor Fragedakis, champion of… ?

It’s not like she sat silent, disappearing Esmeralda-like (ask your parents, kids) into the background. More often than not, the councillor made her opinion known during council meetings. milfordmanIt’s just… it’s just…

Her voice was like an echo, a reverberation of something that had already been said. Nothing particularly offensive to these ears but little to be distinguished from things already stated. Councillor Fragedakis strikes me as the dutiful political daughter of Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth) and niece of Councillor Pam McConnell. (Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale).

It could be worse, no doubt. I have nothing against Councillor Mary Fragedakis but…

Again, it’s worth noting that she could be a superb constituent councillor, attentive to the needs and concerns of the residents in her ward. Not everyone elected to council needs to be a firebrand and on the forefront of city wide issues. Councillor Fragedakis may be happily and effectively tucked away, doing the more mundane tasks of municipal governance.

Her re-electability too is something of a mystery. me tooI may be horribly off the mark seeing her as vulnerable. She is just in her first term, so not entrenched as the incumbent. Ward 29 shouldn’t necessarily be seen as some safe, left wing seat. Remember, the long time representative from the area, for like 150 years, was Case Ootes, an old Lastmanite and noted anti-David Miller foe. Unless there’s been a dramatic shift in demographics, this ward can’t be considered a walk for any left of centre candidate.

In the 2010 election, Fragedakis benefitted from a right of centre split between former councillor and 2006 mayoral candidate, Jane Pitfield, and the Rocco Rossi endorsed, Jennifer Wood. Animosity flared up, in fact, involving those two camps, with a member of Ms. Pitfield’s team sending off an email request for Ms. Wood to step down in order that she not take votes away from Pitfield and ‘let an NDP council (candidate) Mary Fragedakis win’. stumpedWood didn’t withdraw and ended up with over 4200 votes. Fragedakis won by almost 2500. So it is conceivable that played a part in the outcome.

So it is conceivable that a single strong right of centre candidate in 2014 could seriously challenge Councillor Fragedakis for Ward 29. If that happens, the question will be has she shored up her incumbent bona fides to stave such a charge off, to increase her percentage of the popular vote? Like many things to do with her time in office, I remain simply stumped for an answer.

confusedly submitted by Cityslikr

4 Responses to Nothing Against Councillor Mary Fragedakis But…

  1. Sonny says:

    I guess it’s a good thing that she registered early and is the only candidate so far in W29.
    I went to Paul Bocking’s campaign launch where he raised some money and will have to spend time developing name recognition.
    over the next 9 months which is strategic…
    http://paulbocking.com/

    How is it in Etobicoke with all them automobiles?
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/air-quality-how-gridlock-is-affecting-west-toronto-s-air-1.2498477

  2. Simon Says says:

    Have you thought about remaining this blog to “We hate anyone who we feel doesn’t measure up?”

  3. Dave Andre for Ward 29 - Bye bye Mary says:

    Dave Andre is seeking your support to become the next City Councillor for Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth.

    Civil engineer, husband, father and lifelong volunteer, Dave lives in East York with his wife and two children. In his professional life, Dave works as a technical specialist in the construction of infrastructure.

    He is the frontrunner for unseating the Mary – the NDP candidate. Dave Andre is endorsed by Case Ootes (previous councillor for Ward 29), Jennifer Woods (previous candidate for Ward 29) and Maria Manna (previous MP for Beaches-East York).

    Please spread the word and let’s get Dave Andre to City Hall!

    • Paul Edwards says:

      An endorsement from Case heralds a return to the do nothing circus of the Lastman years. I shudder to think that Case Ootes is still out there in the shadows driving down one public institution after another in his quest to prove that any strong public service can be derailed if you’re willing to put in the time and energy. He’s the Peter Principle gone horribly awry an ideologue who contemns to institutions he feels bound to serve. If Mr. Andre is looking for a coat tail to ride to City Hall he can do much better.

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