This isn't a political blog. If it was, I'd have been writing all about the firing of Gary Webster and the new Rob and Doug Ford radio show, but there's more to life than Rob Ford. But I would like to bring attention to an article former Toronto Mayor Art Eggleton has written for the Globe and Mail.
It's aptly titled "This is no way to run a city" and here's an excerpt.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says a major decision by City Council on public transit policy is “irrelevant” because he doesn’t like the result. He then sends his hit squad to fire the Toronto Transit Commission’s general manager because he doesn’t like advice that doesn’t correspond to his own views.
This is no way to run a city. The mayor has to work with City Council. The law says City Council, not the mayor, is supreme. And don’t believe the bluster about his mandate from the people – most voted for him as a reaction to the ways of the former council, not because they supported every last detail in his platform that he follows only when convenient.
Every great leader understands the importance of building consensus. This is Rob Ford's greatest failure, his refusal to work with City Council. Art Eggleton says it best:
I had the privilege of serving 11 years as mayor of Toronto. I learned very quickly that the job is to bring people together, not drive them apart. The mayor’s office ought to be a place where, on difficult issues, you bring in all the stakeholders – many with opposing views – and hammer out practical solutions, solutions that move the city forward.
Eggleton concludes by stating Toronto can't afford to slip into mediocrity. With Rob Ford in office until 2014, mediocrity might be the best we can hope for.