This Cannot Stand

WE INTERRUPT THIS REGULARLY SCHEDULED WARDS 2 WATCH DISPATCH TO BRING YOU AN URGENT BULLETIN:

PEOPLE OF WARD 11 YORK SOUTH-WESTON! newsflashWON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE, DROP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND REGISTER TO RUN AGAINST YOUR LONGTIME INCUMBENT, COUNCILLOR FRANCES NUNZIATA? IF NOT FOR YOURSELF OR FOR THE CITY. DO IT FOR YOUR CHILDREN. YOUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

I know it’s early in the race, still months to go before election day on October 27th but when our friend Jude MacDonald pointed out that as of March 6th, Councillor Nunziata was running unopposed, I just couldn’t help thinking, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?! WHY ISN’T EVERYONE BEATING DOWN THE DOOR TO CHALLENGE HER!? SHE IS THE WORST!

(OK, I’ll stop shout-writing now. Deep breath. Deep breath.)

The thought of running against a firmly entrenched incumbent at any political level but especially municipally must be a daunting one. oldendaysAnd few city councillors are as entrenched as Frances Nunziata. Along with the city’s 180th birthday yesterday, the councillor celebrated her 180th year in office, I believe. [Actually, she was first elected as a York school board trustee in 1985. A York city councillor in 1988. York mayor in 1994. Amalgamated city councillor in 1997. But who’s counting? – ed.]

Whatever.

A municipal elected official for nearly 3 decades. An institution, really. The Municipal Institute of Cranky Pants at the Frances Nunziata campus.

You know, I’m not one for the term limits. I’ve said as much on this very site. If someone is doing a good job, serving their ward and its residents well, why arbitrarily chase them out?

But, come on, folks. This is Frances Nunziata we’re talking about. This isn’t a case of a forever politician serving her ward and residents well. Think that’s just my opinion? You don’t have to take my word for it. donothinglistThe councillor pretty much admits it herself.

“My ward never gets anything,” is a frequent lament heard coming from Councillor Nunziata’s mouth. If that’s so, whose fault is that, I ask? Look into the mirror, councillor. Look into the mirror, Ward 11.

A wag once told me that the key to Frances’ electoral success lies in her getting 9000 of her residents’ fences fixed. That’s fine, if that’s the kind of councillor she wants to be. But you can’t scream and shout about the big stuff while only focusing on small matters.

Besides, if her total absence of skills as Speaker of city council in any way reflects her overall abilities as a city councillor, I’d say voters in Ward 11 have simply stopped trying. They are merely going through the motions. X marks the circle with name recognition.

To have someone run unopposed in any election race is a bad sign for democracy. To have the likes of Councillor Frances Nunziata run unopposed is nothing short of a travesty. unopposedA slap in the face of all that is good and holy in a free and healthy political system. It’s the surest sign of apathy run rampant.

As of now, Councillor Nunziata is not the only incumbent facing zero opponents. There are six other wards in the city where challengers are absent in running against their councillor. That situation cannot stand. Any acclamation looks bad. Two bit. Small time.

Maybe voters are content with the representation they’re receiving. Why exert the effort if everything’s hunky dory, a-OK? You don’t fix what ain’t broke, am I right?

But you know, the election process isn’t simply about voting. It’s about having a conversation, having your say. Every four years every ward in the city gets to have its own debate. What’s important. What’s working. What’s not working. During that time, if a politician seeks another opportunity to represent the residents of a ward at City Hall, they should have to explain why, and set out their record of accomplishments and a new list of priorities to justify a renewal of that faith voters showed in them the previous time around.

All elected officials, no matter how effective or popular, need to have their feet held to the fire. A trial, if you will, in which they must lay out the case to warrant their re-election. whosontheballotThat can only happen if someone steps forward to challenge them. Failure to do so is an abdication of responsibility on the part of every single eligible resident.

If the likes of Councillor Frances Nunziata stands unopposed in her umpteenth re-election bid, her atrocious track record as city councillor unchallenged, then our system is clearly broken. It suggests that people, at least those living in Ward 11, really don’t care what goes on at City Hall. An electoral shrug. Oh well. What’s it matter?

In the end, you get the type of representation you deserve, I guess.

pleadingly submitted by Cityslikr

5 Responses to This Cannot Stand

  1. Ron Wm. Hurlbut says:

    I resided in Ward 11 for a decade. During that time I came to believe that there was a fix. Any time a viable candidate showed up to challenge Nunz – ringer(s) would be parachuted into the race in order to split the anti-Nunz vote.

    Paul Ferreira gave her a good run for the money back in ’06.

    I have no proof but I believe that at least one of the other two contenders was parachuted in.

    It was suspicious when the candidate vigorously defended Nunz when canvasing for himself.

    My advice is to wait until the 11th hour to register as a candidate in York South Weston so that it is too late for any ringers to be parachuted in.

    Or, hire a Private Investigator to root up the truth about any ringers and have them exposed.

    There are a few people prodding Paul Ferreira to take another run at Nunz…

    Maybe this time….

  2. golfo says:

    You nailed her.
    She is a completely useless councillor, who seems to be reelected due to her ethnic qualities or her infamous family name.
    She would whine and whine about nothing going into her ward…yet she never works to make anything happen( perhaps thats because for a thankfully short period of time she was mayor of York when perhaps she came to expect things would just happen because she wanted them to happen). There is an exception though: her desire to keep smoking available in bingo halls. I sometimes thought that she must have given birth to her children in a bingo hall while chain smoking. Oh, and she has a very uncomfortable somewhat inappropriate fascination of police officers. She never talks about her ward unless its to wag her finger at street prostitution and bad bar owners. Lets face it, the history of the City of York is one of a municipality that failed to tax its constituents at a level that would even afford to build just one community centre. These York City councillors sat whistfully for years waiting for Metro to funds community and social services, because they didnt have the guts to tax and built it themselves. Only now, after 15 years of an amalgamated city is there a community centre being built at Black Creek. She did nothing to get that approved…she just sat waiting for the Recreation staff to get around to approving it through the budget cycle of capital projects.
    Lets not talk about her completely ignorant commentaries as she chairs council meetings…she is, without a doubt, one of the worst public representatives that currently “represents a constituency in Canada”. For 2 good measurements of her underwhelming career at Council: check out how many staff has she had in her office, it is well known to be a merry go round of people quitting or getting fired; secondly, in the two terms of the right wing administration of Lastman, he wouldn’t let her anywhere near a chair of a committee, despite her voting record.

  3. John Leeson says:

    Would hate to see her come back, or even get an easy ride, but I think it’s still very early for most potential candidates to register, so I don’t find it surprising at all that she’s the only one.

    Check the Wikipedia record of the 2010 election: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_municipal_election,_2010

    Most incumbents had no challengers registered by this date 4 years ago. (Lots registered in Mammo’s ward, but then he was registered as a mayoral candidate until July).

    • Sonny says:

      Hey in 2003, Mammo & Shiner were acclaimed are coincidentally the same guys that get discounted rent from a company that does business with the City.

      Nunziata will be there again and may have to do the plastic surgery thing…
      Like people talking about Kim Novak’s face at last weeks Oscars.

  4. Thankful says:

    Someone is actively running against her!!!!!! Residents of Ward 11 open your eyes, it’s not someone they have staged. Dory Chalhoub has proved his presence and his intent to ACTUALLY address ward 11 residents, businesses etc. We’ve been asking for this, now we must go out and vote!!

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