The no-politics councillor questionnaire: Joe Mihevc vs. Josh Matlow
Doug Ford’s decision to slash the size of city council means that this October’s election will include a number of head-to-head battles between sitting councillors, whose formerly separate wards have suddenly been consolidated into one. For voters who are flummoxed by all of this, we present the ultimate tie-breaker: a questionnaire that has very little to do with politics. If you can’t decide which way to vote based on policy, let personality be your guide.
Current councillor for Ward 21, St. Paul’s
Current councillor for Ward 22, St. Paul’s
What’s your most impressive trait?
Mihevc: I have an encyclopedic memory for properties in my ward. Names are sometimes slower to come to mind.
Matlow: I have never surrendered my humanity, independence, friendships and commitment to honesty, even in city hall’s often awful political environment.
What’s your worst trait?
Mihevc: My staff say I’m a bit obsessive.
Matlow: I find it challenging to turn work off, even when I’m home. My family helps me with that, but I know I need to improve.
What time do you wake up?
Mihevc: I wake up at the crack of dawn to check on my four hens. During the campaign, I tend to be up a bit later at night, so I’ve been sleeping until 6:15 a.m.
Matlow: I wake up at 6 a.m. most mornings. Often it’s because I want to get work done, but usually it’s the fact that I have a five-year-old daughter.
What do you typically eat for breakfast?
Mihevc: Eggs, fresh from the backyard. When my hens aren’t laying, I eat homemade granola.
Matlow: Cereal or granola with yogurt and some fruit are on our breakfast table most mornings. Always accompanied by a cup of coffee!
What’s your favourite dinner spot in the city?
Mihevc: In the 20 years I’ve lived on Humewood, I’ve probably been the number one customer of Churrasco of St. Clair. I shouldn’t tell my hens.
Matlow: I work most evenings, and I honestly don’t have only one favourite dinner spot. There are lots of places that I like. However, my most recent favourite is Pukka, on St. Clair West.
What’s the last book you read?
Mihevc: A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini.
Matlow: Jacob Two Two and the Dinosaur. I read it to my daughter last night.
What’s your major hobby?
Mihevc: Household renovations are a family hobby. I’ve done a lot of work with my dad and my siblings over the years. I just finished a kitchen reno. I have a bit of trim work left for when the election is over.
Matlow: Hiking. I’d call it a passion more than a hobby, though.
What don’t people understand about you?
Mihevc: My daughters say I’m an open book!
Matlow: My politics. I appreciate facts, reasonable decisions and rational thought. That doesn’t always fit neatly onto one political label.
What form of transportation do you rely on the most?
Mihevc: TTC, every day. The 512 Streetcar, and then the subway to work. I grew up that way. My dad was a mechanic at the TTC’s Hillcrest Yard for 30 years. In the summer, I cycle to work—often using Bike Share.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a city councillor?
Mihevc: I used to be a professor of Theology and Social Ethics at the University of Toronto.
Matlow: I hope that question will become redundant on October 23rd.
Complete the sentence: Doug Ford is…
Mihevc: I don’t think you can publish my answer. I think the premier’s first few months have been extremely troubling, particularly his attacks on the poorest people in our society.
Matlow: A dishonest populist.
Curveball time: of all the characters Tom Hanks has played in movies, which one do you most identify with?
Mihevc: Sheriff Woody, from Toy Story.
Matlow: I like several of Tom Hanks’s films, but I don’t really identify with one character.
What irritates you?
Mihevc: When my family doesn’t recycle properly.
Matlow: Being asked questions like, “which Tom Hanks character do I most identify with?” Also, when city council makes decisions based on politics rather than evidence, like the choice to build a one-stop subway that wastes tax dollars and hurts people’s lives. I don’t know if there’s a Tom Hanks film about that yet.
What delights you?
Mihevc: My two grandsons. And when my whole family can get together for dinner, which is rare these days!
Matlow: My family. There are many things I love, but nothing more than the time I get spend with them.
Who needs to be stopped?
Mihevc: Doug Ford. Donald Trump.
Matlow: Donald Trump, Doug Ford, Giorgio Mammoliti, criminals, contractors who disturb residents outside of bylaw hours, people who drive too fast through our neighbourhoods and more. We’ll work on this together.
Who’s your dream date?
Mihevc: My partner, Rosalee.
Matlow: My wife, Melissa.