Today these two people will have their patience tried severely. For a pair of motormouths (Rob Ford and George Mammoliti – Toronto councillors) having to have to sit and listen will be tough. As a result of a public invitation issued by Mayor Rob Ford to all of his subjects "Come on down and tell me what they think (about the state of the City)", he will now have to sit down and listen for at least 25 hours at the next executive committee meeting. Over three hundred (according to City TV – others have pegged it at 258) people have registered to speak at today's executive committee meeting. Watching whether these two clowns and the Mayor's brain – his bro Doug, will be able to handle it will be just as much a spectacle as the proceedings themselves.
Ford's KPMG exercise has been questioned both for content and process. The content not really being examined for "efficiencies" but for "slashing" and the process for being cursory. For instance there was no committee debate on any of the reports just a shuffling and abdication of committee responsibility by sending the reports to the executive committee without any of their own committee recommendations (there were none) off to the Mayor's committee where ten 'stooges' will rubberstamp RoFo's opinions, if he ever makes them known.
But back to the point, the issue of public deputants and their relationship with the governors. The majority of them have already been written off as "union stooges" by Rob's brain – Bro Doug. "The Ford Nation is too busy working to be able to afford to come down and talk to us." Talk radio picked up on that last night as the newest star of AM640, Arlene Bynon was echoing the party line and disparaging the very idea of anybody criticising the Fords. This will be the tactic today – write off the speakers by attaching labels – lefties, downtown condo dweller, birkenstock wearer and the greatest badge of dishonour today – cyclist. None of the opposition will be given credit nor will any of their points be recognised as being valid, they will be taken as opinions from the "usual suspects".
This problem – the inability of opposition being able to make their points has been seen here. How many times in the last decade has it been seen that regular opinionmakers (those who hold opinions other than that of Council) being seen at Council meetings only to be met with stony silence, unconcealed disdain and having no questions asked of them? When asked about the deputants how many times have councillors written of what they had to say by prefacing their remarks with the sneer "Well that so and so's view". As if what they had to say was totally irrelevent because they said it. In Cobourg we have the opportunity to see this again. There will be quasi-consultation process by the designers of the new Communication Plan. How many public suggestions will make it into the final document? We suspect none, because that's the way things work. Unfortunately it leads to a couple of problems – Council thinks it has the only answers and no weight is given to these public spirited citizens who answered the call to respond. It almost makes one think why one should bother. But they have to "public meeting" is a benchmark on the Gannt chart of the project. The fact that anyone would listen is of no consequence.
So let the hundred of Torontonians speak, even if the ten stooges on the executive committee don't listen, at least they will be punished by the endurance test of sitting at their desks. Let the court of public opinion judge the deputants and let's see if the Ford's can salvage their reputations. In a side note does anybody even make the connection between Mammoliti and Mussolini? Pic on right. There is more than a facial connection here.
For a liveblog of the executive committee meeting click here courtesy HuffingtonPost.ca. Twitter feeds included