On its second day of work, council gets down to the important stuff: food and bruised egos
If yesterday was any indication, Rob Ford is in for a long four years. As the council met to approve choices for who got what committees, the disenfranchised left (some of the ladies wore pink as a little jab at Don Cherry) put up a doomed effort to try to secure some seats on the important committees, like the TTC and the police board. The Globe and Mail reports:
However, the normally perfunctory meeting morphed into a five-and-a-half hour affair, suggesting Mr. Ford won’t always get everything he wants from the new council.
The council committees overseeing the budget, labour relations, the Toronto police and the Toronto Transit Commission have all been stacked with councillors from the former inner suburbs, most of whom lean to the right and are allied with the new mayor.
Some of the shunned councillors argued the downtown could wind up being ignored without at least a token presence on such important committees.
Several of these complaints sound a lot like simple bruised egos on both sides, with the winners from election day reminding the losers about how they felt frozen out under David Miller. Nobody went as far as to shout “suck it up, loser” in Glenn De Baeremaeker’s or Joe Mihevc’s direction, which is probably for the best. But both Giorgio Mammoliti and deputy mayor Doug Holyday did lecture the grumblers a little.
Among the council’s other disagreements, one was serious, the other not so much. On the serious side, the opposition argued that the mayor’s accelerated budget program leaves no time for serious consideration, and will presumably leave council to rubber-stamp recommendations it doesn’t fully understand.
Less seriously, there was an extended argument about bringing back some kind of food service to council during afternoon-evening meetings, especially if there isn’t going to be a dinner break. While councillors might want their staff to do something other than fetch them coffee and a bagel, this is the post-gravy era in Toronto. Time to start bringing leftovers in Tupperware, folks.