It’s rare that is happens, says John Elvidge of the city clerk’s office, but sitting mayors do have the right to poke their noses into the various standing committees at City Hall, including sitting in on and taking part in votes, exactly as Rob Ford did on Monday night. It’s an executive privilege.
It’s the second time Ford has done this in a week, this time on the 2014 Service Level review for the Parks and Environment Committee. The Committee, which meets irregularly once every three months or so, makes decisions on things like spending on public parks, gardens, and outdoor programs.
The vote before the Committee on Monday included a number of potentially sizeable increases which were not spelled out in any detail that I saw, although considering the fact that only existing services were listed, it seems that the numbers should be straightfroward to estimate.
Regardless, Ford declared that the as-yet-unspecified amount was too much, voted the item down, and walked out before another motion was adopted to move everything under the purview of the 2014 city budget process. Dougie was also absent for this follow-up vote.
“We can’t have these lefties spending like drunken sailors,” Ford said after his rare appearance at the parks and environment committee.
Ford says a lot of things about money at City Hall.
Things like swearing that freezing property taxes is “job one” for his administration, a claim which he rescinds drastically and early on after being voted into office (actually defending a hefty property tax increase in the process). Then, after being unable to come up with any alternative ideas to fund various city projects, settling on optimistically championing a property tax increase, then a month later calling for a property tax freeze yet again. And all of it in the unabashed service of business, which Ford says is tantamount to working for the common man.
So when Ford says that he’s getting involved in cherry-picked committee votes to curtail leftie spending, or for the benefits of the taxpayer, or any of his other disproved, divisive, and derisive nonsense, let’s just say I’m very skeptical.