What else can we say: Oshawa man abandons city council seat to keep TTC gig
This story leaves us wondering just how cushy, exactly, the average TTC job really is. Apparently, nobody explained to Mike Nicholson the TTC policy stating that an employee can’t keep their transit job while holding public office. Nicholson, not knowing that, ran for a council seat in Oshawa and won. Having now spent a week debating whether to give up the TTC job or the council seat, Nicholson has made the only choice that makes sense, according to durhamregion.com: He’s keeping his day job.
“All of a sudden I find out that if I take the oath of office, I’ll be fired automatically because it’s a conflict,” he said in an interview last week. “No one ever raised the issue while I was campaigning; they even gave me the time off. I can’t understand why this is an issue now.”
His fellow councillors waited until Dec. 6 to be sworn in to give him a chance to resolve the issue with his employer, but Mr. Nicholson said the TTC wouldn’t budge.
While Mr. Nicholson didn’t respond to requests for comment on his resignation, money is presumed by colleagues to have played a role in the decision.
Local councillors in Oshawa, as opposed to the at-large councillors, are paid only $34,200 a year; and while we have no information on Nicholson’s pay, we’re pretty sure that the ATU has done better for him than that.
The city of Oshawa will now be on the hook for whatever it costs to re-elect (or possibly re-appoint) a new councillor. If it takes a new election, it could cost as much as $125,000. This is really an innovation in the TTC’s history of public relations: normally, the people complaining about TTC bus drivers wasting their time and money live in the city. This kind of aggravation so far from the city core opens up whole new frontiers of people the TTC can annoy. Next year, Thunder Bay!