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article imageOp-Ed: Toronto Mayor cutting work for private time not how to run a city

By KJ Mullins     Nov 29, 2012 in Politics
Toronto - Cutting work for private time is something that most bosses frown on, even if that time is for the community. This autumn one man has missed many important meetings at his job. That man is Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford.
A look through Ford's weekly schedule for September and October shows private time marked off almost every afternoon beginning September 16. That private time was spent on the football fields at Don Bosco, the Catholic school where he coaches football.
Even Ford's supporters at City Hall have been questioning the amount of time that Toronto's head man has missed since September. Those who are not part of "Ford Nation" have been more vocal.
As the mayor of the biggest city in Canada Ford has a commitment to the residents, one that should have taken precedent over coaching football. Ford choose instead to be away from City Hall from 3 to 6 o’clock for September-October depending how the season went to be with his boys. Granted the kids have benefited having such a committed coach but at what cost?
In 87 days Ford had 69 private appointments, appointments that did not relate to the job that he was elected to. Had he been employed anywhere else his job could very well be at risk.
Prior to August 1 Ford did put in more hours at City Hall. He had 229 meetings with residents between July and October 2011 alone. Those numbers dropped sharply this year. During the same time period in 2012 he had a total of 36 meetings, 13 listed as meetings with residents.
What's as worrying is that Ford's attendance record at council is not the worst. There are 21 city council members with worse attendance records. While Ford has missed 14.82 percent of the votes this year Ron Moeser missed 55.43 percent, John Filon 32.99 percent and Giorgio Mammoliti 26.93 percent. In contrast Doug Holyday, Toronto's Deputy Mayor only missed 1.23 percent of the votes, Speaker Frances Nunziata 2.82 percent, Gord Perks 3.51 percent and Mary-Margaret McMahon 4.47 percent.
Moeser does have a medical reason for missing so many votes. He has ankle replacement surgery last year with complications. He was still in a leg brace in September.
Local media is saying that Ford's record is better than former Mayor David Miller. In the only two year period that was recorded during Miller's terms shows 41.8 percent of votes being missed.
At the end of the day one has to question why elected officials do not show up to take part in the voting process. It's the job they each signed on for, pledging to their wards that they would represent the residents. While city council jobs are more than just being present for votes it is an important part of their job.
If your employee missed a percentage of their weekly time every week would you question their commitment to your company? When you get down to brass tacks city councillors are our employees. It's something to think about Toronto.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Mayor Rob Ford, Toronto, City council, Attendance
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