Don’t think so?
Let’s look at the facts.
First he starts making plans for the 2014 election, presumably because he’s given up.
Then he invites others to run against his opponents in the same election, presumably because he’s given up.
Then he scales back on his election promise to privatize garbage collection until the same 2014 election, presumably because he’s given up.
Then a leaked letter reveals he’s stopped planning for the next two years and instead wants to start again after the 2014 election, presumably because he’s given up.
Then he shows Canada what “champion” he is by waffling out of his weight loss program week after week, presumably because he’s given up.
Not necessarily in this order, but you get the idea.
Now the Toronto Star reveals that RoFo has cut his Mayorly activities by over 60%, presumably because he’s given up.
Here’s a smattering of his absentee agenda:
In January 2012, Ford averaged 11 meetings a week compared with 33 in January 2011, his first full month as mayor. In February 2012, he had 15 meetings scheduled each week, compared with an average of 34 a year earlier.
According to sources that include former and current staff, Ford often does not leave his home until noon. His itineraries indicate that daily staff briefings are held at about 9:30 a.m., but on those late days, the sources say, Ford participates by phone or not at all. Some days he never appears in his office. Ford has always spent much of his time outside the walls of city hall, doing his famous one-on-one constituency work, but even that has dropped off drastically.
The mayor routinely doesn’t show up for long-scheduled events and meetings with officials. On Wednesday, Councillor Peter Milczyn had to step in for him at a VIA Rail speaking engagement. He has cancelled five of the last nine weekly weigh-ins — often the only time Ford takes media questions for the week — including one on Tuesday.
On numerous occasions, Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday, the mayor’s brother, Doug Ford, or other close allies have been called upon at the last minute to meet foreign dignitaries or visiting officials. Holyday said there have been only “a couple of times” where he’s had less than an hour’s notice and that, as deputy mayor, it’s his job to fill this role.
The mayor was supposed to meet his Calgary counterpart, Naheed Nenshi, at an event held at the Corus building on Sept. 20, but Ford never showed up.
Ford also hasn’t held a formal meeting with many prominent Toronto leaders in more than a year, including United Way Toronto CEO Susan McIsaac, Board of Trade president Carol Wilding, Ryerson University president Sheldon Levy or CivicAction’s CEO, Mitzie Hunter. He has never attended a Federation of Canadian Municipalities event.
Ford’s own committee chairs don’t regularly meet directly with the mayor to discuss policy. For example, Norm Kelly, who chairs the parks and environment committee, says the mayor is very accessible, although he concedes that the last specific formal meeting he can remember was during Occupy Toronto, which was last November.
Ford’s cadre of yes-men continue to defend him, claiming that he helps out people on a one-to-one basis:
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, one of his staunchest supporters, said looking at the mayor’s itinerary alone doesn’t speak for the work he does.
“The reality is he does a lot of spontaneous work. If constituents call, he’s on it. So you won’t see that on his schedule. He calls people back on a regular basis, and I know he does that.”
There’s only one problem with that kind of thing (assuming it’s true); in a city of 2.5 million people, he would necessarily have to pick and choose who to help. To help each one equally, he would have to be responding to about 1,700 calls a day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
To believe that he can adequately do this is clearly insane, yet this is the excuse that Rob Ford uses for not performing his duties as Mayor. Not to mention that, even if the excuse is actually true, Ford has to pick and choose which of his buddies and allies get his attention, and based on his “I hate all charity” agenda, those would would probably be the same petty dictators and millionaire corporate hobnobs who hang out in his back yard.
Clearly Rob Ford doesn’t understand what a Mayor’s job is, and it’s exactly why he shouldn’t have one.
By the way, Sarah and I are forming a little group to get the wheels moving on Rob Ford’s ouster. We’re meeting at a central downtown location tonight to get some initial ideas together — if you’d like to drop by at the next one (most likely over drinks), please drop me a line and I’ll send you the details.