That’s Just How They Roll

December 17, 2013

400 p.m. 1600 hours for you more militarily/Europeanly inclined. rollupyoursleevesDay one of city council’s December meeting. The business of municipal governance grinds on.

Item 2 of the day, questions to staff about preserving designated employment lands in the Official Plan. Earlier, user supported water rates. 9 in 9. 8, 8, 8.

This ain’t the fireworks we’ve come to expect here at City Hall. But it is how local politics usually works. Slow. Slog. Mundane day-to-day details. Deadly dreary boring.

And then…and then. There’s always an ‘and then’ these days, isn’t there.

During the prolonged stage of site specific motions to exempt certain developments in certain wards from inclusion in the city’s official plan on employment lands, where procedural protocol may well have been breached forcing city staff to express their views after councillors had asked questions, during voting of motions, the bottom fell out of the calm that had descended. turnfortheworseNot in one fell swoosh of the toilet flush. Much more disintegrative than that. Bit by bit.

The disorder started, as it usually does, with a Ford, Councillor Ford this time. In defending his motion for an exemption for a place of worship in his ward or it might have been when he was questioning Councillor Joe Mihevic on his motion to try and keep the official plan intact — I’d have to go back and check the records to make sure — but on this point it doesn’t really matter, Councillor Ford brayed something to the effect of, Have you ever been to Etobicoke or Do you even know where Etobicoke is?

Hello, Monday. The urban-suburban divide hadn’t been thrown in our face yet, had it? Well, here you go.

From there it was a slow 45 car pile up on a slippery, sleety road to nowhere. Just after the official plan item was passed and we’d limped toward a conclusion of the day’s proceedings, during the relatively benign stretch of quick releases by the councillors, Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti took exception to something that was said on council floor and wouldn’t shut up. youroutoforderIt became Giorgio against the world, with the councillor reverting to talking in the 3rd person about himself. Ignoring fairly strong admonishments from Speaker Frances Nunziata to just zip it, he refused. And when the speaker said he needed to leave the chambers, he stood firm (but certainly not tall), going as far as to say he would defend himself if security tried to remove him.

For good measure, Mayor Ford joined in, suggesting that only the corrupt councillors got to stay in council – take a moment to digest that statement from the mayor… only the corrupt councillors… in defence of Giorgio Mammoliti… only the corrupt councillors… This, from Mayor Ford.

That was it. Rather than follow through, the speaker simply adjourned the meeting. Probably not a bad move as tensions had risen, there was no way this would conclude in anything but ugly fashion at the end of a long day. Still.

What could’ve been, should’ve been an uneventful meeting of council wrapped up like so many of them have over the course of this term. burntothegroundIn disarray, leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. The only ones somehow triumphant are the ones whose sole intention is to render city government dysfunctional and beyond repair.

The wrecking crew. Their job? To make sure city council could not do its job in any sort of quiet, effective and agreeable manner.

of coursely submitted by Cityslikr