Never there: the adventures of our errant councillors

It might seem that our city councillors would get into less trouble if they’d just stop showing up at work. At least then they wouldn’t get dragged into debates about the proper place of God in this city (oh, wait, that happened anyway). Alas, it turns out that if showing up for your job gets you into trouble, not showing up gets you in at least as much trouble. The Toronto Star reported over the weekend that of the councillors who are currently running for the mayor’s office, none of them have a spotless record, though Joe Pantalone comes close.

City hall’s schedule is set out when the year begins, but attendance at council meetings can nevertheless be spotty. And it’s not just the councillors running for mayor who are missing in action, as evidenced at this month’s council meeting, when the mayor and 16 of 44 councillors weren’t around to vote on bike lanes on University Avenue. Council voted 15–13 not to proceed.

Concerns were also raised about the 15–12 vote to extend the Boardwalk Pub‘s lease for 20 years, giving it a monopoly on food service along the eastern beaches. Those who would have preferred to see the opportunity put out for bids said the vote might have been different if more politicians had been in their seats.

Some of the Star‘s highlights:

Rob Ford says that running for mayor is really hard, and he’s constantly on the phone—like when he caused a committee meeting to be dismissed because there wasn’t a quorum. Would’ve been better to say that he was working on his community outreach.

Giorgio Mammoliti is singled out for being most absent, missing four council votes and a bunch of committee votes. He was oddly consistent with his attendance for the Toronto Zoo committee: maybe he’s been hard at work on the zoo’s manure-related policies.

Joe Pantalone may be the A student, but some people wish he’d take it a little easier on the council business. Whether it’s lobbying to make sure that World Cup soccer is watched only while drunk or keeping the number of bars on Ossington, Harbord and Queen West small, Pantalone is indefatigable—and not always in a good way.

• Missing in action? Councillors running for mayor explain absences [Toronto Star]


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