Friday, 22 November 2013

ROB FORD: The stupidest mayor in all of North America (Part 4)                              

This is the fourth of a 4-part series on Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, Ontario who has become renowned around the world as a political freak and a world-wide embarrassment not only to the people of Toronto but also to all the people in Canada. If you go back to my previous three recent articles in my blog, you will see how this extremely fat man who buys his suits from ‘Omar the Tent Maker’ is not only a man who can’t control his drinking; he is also a man who had snorted drugs in the presence of his many criminal friends in their drug hangouts. He did this while holding the office of mayor of North America’s third largest city. You will also see how he used his tax-paid staff to do his personal errands for him and his wife and how he chose to not attend 19% of all scheduled city hall meetings so he could participate in his hobby—coaching football to high school kids. This following article tells you how the members of the city counselors finally concluded that he should not be their powerful mayor any longer and therefore they emasculated his authority and left him to act merely as a figurehead who shakes the hands of dignitaries and celebrities from other locales. As I have done in the previous articles, I will refer to this stupid mayor as Dumbo.

The date of November 19th, 2013 will be remembered by millions of people world-wide as one of the strangest bloodless coup d’ état in history. Before the 37 city counselors of Toronto voted on emasculating their mayor’s power; while he was in the council chamber, he behaved like an autistic brat, swinging his hands around the air, walking and running around the council chamber, screaming and taunting at the councillors and spectators alike. It was what you would expect to see if you were watching hoodlums rioting at a soccer match.

That night, the Toronto city council voted to strip Mayor Rob Ford of more of his powers following a day of debate that descended into chaos at times and left one councilor with a fat lip when Dumbo smashed into her.             

Last week, the councilors overwhelmingly voted in favour of stripping Ford of some of his powers, which included his ability to hire and fire committee chairs and his leadership role in emergency situations.

The councilors voted on each measure which included a vote of 37-5 to reduce the mayor’s budget, a vote of 36-6 to transfer the remaining mayoral budget to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly and a vote of 30-10 to prevent the mayor from designating key items for council debate. It also means that Dumbo is no longer the head of the powerful Executive Committee which  was previously composed of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, chairs of the seven standing committees and four other members appointed by City Council. There are also three sub-committees of the Executive Committee. The new head of the Executive Committee is now the deputy mayor, Norm Kelly. The other counselors on the Committee are still serving on it. Dumbo still remains as a member of the Executive Committee; he just can’t be its chairman nor can he  fire or appoint its members.

The Toronto Council also indirectly oversees other major services (such as police, transit, public health, libraries, public housing) through the appointment of council members to the boards of directors of the City Council's agencies, boards, commissions and corporations.

These were the responsibilities of Dumbo but all of that has been taken from him. He will continue his last 11 months as mayor with severely limited powers and a severely reduced budget along with a reduction of his staff. As much as $880,000 of the mayor’s office budget was taken from him (approximately 60 per cent of what it was before) and what was left was a smaller budget of $712,000. His staff of twenty was reduced to eight. They included 1 executive assistant, 4 special assistants, 2 managers and his driver. Prior to Tuesday, other staff members in Dumbo’s office had quit and some were fired by Dumbo and one was arrest by the police. The remaining former staffers working for Dumbo in which some were seasoned employees, are now part of the deputy mayor’s staff. Further, Dumbo no longer has a very large office complex as some of it which was originally used by Dumbo’s staff, has now been sectioned off for the deputy mayor.  The locks have also been changed so that Dumbo won’t have access to the deputy mayor’s office. Imagine if you will how Dumbo feels when you consider that it was he who originally appointed Kelly to be his deputy mayor and now the latter had taken over almost all of Dumbo’s responsibilities. I think those that are now serving the deputy mayor are pleased that they won’t be subjected to Dumbo’s yelling at them and making them do personal errands for him.

The motion that was approved also limits some of the mayor’s powers, including the ability to designate or set times for key matters in Council and elect to speak first or last on any Council item. It also revokes his designation as chair of the Striking Committee, which is in charge of appointments to several city bodies; and the Debenture Committee. The deputy mayor now replaces Ford as chair of both committees.

The mayor claimed that he received 3,000 letters, 138,000 emails, 123,000 city business phone calls and 22,000 personal calls each year and argued that it would impossible for a slashed budget and staff to deal with them all. He was trying to promote that he needed more money and staff. But in actual fact, most if not all those communications with the mayor’s office are related to city business and with not meeting officials and celebrities from other locales. Those letters, emails and phone calls are non-statutory duties that can now be delegated to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly and not to Dumbo.

However, Dumbo is also still the chairman of the City Council and as such; he will have some control of its meetings. Councillor John Filion predicted Ford’s “bad behavior” will keep on going but now it won’t interfere with the work of the Council. He added, “It won’t be pretty to watch. He’s like a rampaging gorilla [and] as long as he’s in the room, he’s going to disrupt the room and he’s not going to let us ignore him.” The one thing Dumbo can’t control are the votes of the city counselors.

As to his remaining restricted role as an official greeter of VIPs and chairman of the City Council, he said, “I will still function even if I have to bring in volunteers.”  He will have to use volunteers as he no longer has the budget to hire more employees to his office. And further, he won’t be rewarding his remaining employees with $5,000 raises like he did in the past. 

What will really be interesting is whether or not VIPs and celebrities visiting Toronto will really want to be greeted by the city’s baboon—I mean buffoon. It is conceivable that they will avoid Dumbo as if he was carrying the plague.  Who in his right mind wants to be seen shaking the hand of a man who associates with known felons?

Rob Ford said after the voting was over; "All they did was stab me in the back and over issues, the same issues that I've admitted to that they [also] do.” They didn’t stab him in the back. He inserted the knife into his bowels like some of the Japanese generals did after they lost the war except Rob Ford was doing it before he lost his war with the City Council.  When the Japanese generals did it, they had a subordinate chop off their heads to spare them the pain that follows disembowelment. Rob Ford won’t be able to secure the services of a subordinate to take away his pain so it will linger for many years to come.

What will also be interesting is whether or not the voters who voted Dumbo into office will do it again with the same enthusiasm they had in the previous election. If the deputy mayor is successful being the de facto mayor, he might actually get elected as the mayor in the next election.  Further, it is highly unlikely that Dumbo will get elected as a councilman because he has to run in Etobicoke where he lives and when the people of Etobicoke voted in the last mayoralty election, only 16% of the voters supported him. A recent poll shows that he will not even come close to winning the next election.

Now the scandal-plagued Dumbo has maintained that he is going to challenge the decision of the City Council to strip him of his powers and budget in court. He has two options. He can ask a Superior Court of Justice judge to quash the council’s decision on the premise that their decision was illegal followed by a request that there be a suspension of the council’s decision temporarily until the court makes its final ruling. Of course, if the ruling is against Dumbo, he will no doubt file an appeal. And if he loses the appeal, he will file another appeal in a higher court. By the time that appeal is heard, it will be time for the next election.

His second option is to go to the Divisional Court and argue his case in that court. If that happens, I believe that three Superior Court judges will hear his arguments in that court. His argument will be that the council’s decision was unreasonable. It is my opinion that he will likely lose that argument. Considering the antics of that buffoon both inside the council chamber and outside of the chamber, the judges would be hard pressed to rule in his favour.

Even Dumbo’s lawyer conceded that his client’s intent to fight the council’s decision in court is an uphill battle since he would have to successfully argue that the council’s decision caused irreparable harm to the city. In my opinion, the council’s decision did far more good for the city than harm the best interests of its citizens. Further, the decision of the council was within its authority. All the council’s lawyer would have to do is argue that the council acted in good faith and in the best interests of the citizens of Toronto. Dumbo’s lawyer would have a very hard time trying to argue against that premise.

Of course, both Dumbo and his thuggish brother, Doug Ford won’t be able to use their radio and TV shows to spew out their asinine statements anymore since both of those shows have been cancelled by the stations. This of course will curtail Dumbo’s public access to the public. Of course he may very well remain in the spotlight if he continues to act as a buffoon. 

Despite his emasculation of power, Dumbo’s return into the lives of the citizens of Toronto is not unlike having hiccups—they never seem to end.  It would be far better for all the people of Toronto if instead of him having an office at the Toronto City Hall, he would have a place in the cage for baboons at the Toronto Zoo.  That way, the keepers at the zoo could keep him in check.                  

Admittedly, I have come down hard on this man. Have I been fair in doing so? I believe that I have.

It is my firm belief that Dumbo’s tethers that were to secure parts of his mind to whatever sanity was still anchored to the rest of his brain has slipped its moorings thereby dragging his entire mind into the realm of idiotic confusion. I am neither a psychiatrist nor a psychologist however I did spend nine months at the University of Toronto studying abnormal psychology and for a year, I counselled prison inmates who suffered from mental illnesses so I have some idea as to what can go wrong in some people’s minds. There is in my opinion, something very wrong with Dumbo’s mind. Normal people simply don’t act in public the way this man does.  

It is ironic when you think about it. If Dumbo had confessed publicly right from the beginning that he was the person in the vide0 snorting cocaine and then took a temporary leave of absence so that he could seek treatment for his addictions, he would in all likelihood receive sympathy and good wishes from all the members of City Council and the citizens of Toronto because compassion will cure one’s sins more than condemnation will. Once cured, he would be welcomed back into City Hall as a full-time mayor.

Alas, he not only has ignored his addictions; he has even ignored the entreaties of the members of the Toronto City Council to step down temporarily and seek treatment for his addictions. And to make matters worse, he lambasted the city counselors and threatened them to the extent; the fury that grew inside of them, hit Dumbo like a tsunami—burying him with all the debris of his wrongdoings until he was sucked into all the muck and excrement he had surrounded himself with. We can forgive the sinner but it is very difficult to forgive a sinner who is also an incredibly stupid bully.          

I will keep my readers abreast of any new major developments of the saga of The Mayor Who Never Was.   


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