Saturday, November 16, 2013

A letter to my Toronto City Representative on the Rob Ford Case: Do We Need to use a Taser on an already Powerless Person?

Greetings David (Shiner):  Thank you for your email below and your desire to receive some input from some of your constituents on Monday's important vote .  Here goes:

First, I understand that you may or may not see things as I do, and also that you have to satisfy the majority of your constituents, not just me.  So, please note I do not expect you to vote on this one in support of the way I see it, especially since there are many aspects to the issue at hand.  Clearly, this is only input and you need to feel free to use your God-given logic in addition to the input to direct you in how to cast your vote.

Second, I want you to know that I spend a good part of Saturday morning reading both the Toronto Star's and the National Post's perspectives on the issue and especially the upcoming vote.  So, this is not just a gut reaction.

Now, for my input:

Generally speaking, I would ask that you consider taking the higher and more difficult route of NOT voting in favour of stripping Mr. Ford of his budget and the related items as outlined in the motion being voted on this Monday.  I noticed you, at least along with Norm Kelly, were not part of the undersigned supporting the motion.  I also noticed that five of those that did sign to support the motion have difficulty following simple instructions themselves -- like "print" your name on the left, sign on the "right".   Is this the calibre of leadership we have at City Hall?   I know it's petty but their approach to this whole thing including standing with their back to the mayor when he speaks, and pretending to be smoking pot while he speaks, is totally childish.  I am ashamed of the majority of our Council.

And now my rationale:

First, there is doubt that this motion would stand legally (as compared to the two motions of this past week).
Second, if Mr. Ford does pursue legal action, this will further bring the whole City down in the eyes of the world.
Third, a motion like this is vindictive rather than necessary (the Council has already taken the necessary actions to protect itself and the City from harm).  A motion like this simply says "we the Council are incapable of dealing with a difficult in-house situation ourselves."  So, we cut the man off at the knees, and if that won't do it, we get the Premier to do it for us.

I do not in any way support Mr. Ford's actions.  However, no one has had the courage to charge the Mayor formally with any criminal act so far.  The people elected the Mayor, the people should have the right to fire him.   Until he is charged and perhaps found guilty, only the people can take away his ability to perform Mayoralty duties and responsibilities as this motion would do.  Otherwise, where do we stop with the next Mayor we don't like?  As one article said today, "What if the next Mayor had religious beliefs we do not like?"   Can the council strip him of his/her responsibilities?  I hope not.

I would also caution against Mr. Kelly receiving some much "convenient trust" from all the councillors all at once without really proving himself.  Laying one's hands on someone like that to take over so quickly often comes back to haunt people. 

I hope you find this helpful.  I will be following the events from Regina on Monday where I will be working with one of my clients.   All the best.

To summarize, "Do we really need to 'tase' this man who clearly has personal problems?"  

Sincerely,

Ken Godevenos, Toronto


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