There’s been a lot of noise lately around outgoing Councillor Kyle Rae throwing a going away party funded by his office budget to the tune of $12k. Blowhard Councillor Rob Ford introduced a motion in Council to make him pay it back, and Council Speaker Sandra Bussin ruled that the spending was OK.
If Mr. Rae had spent the money on some other kind of community event, I doubt anyone would have questioned it. The problem is the perception that he’s wasting scads of taxpayers money, thumbing his nose at you and me on his way out, funding an event marking his own departure.
On the other hand Rob Ford is famous for hardly spending a dime from his office budget, and there’s got to be something wrong there too. I don’t think most people expect our municipal politicians to spend no money. I think the expectation is that they a spend a reasonable amount of coin and spend it well and thoughtfully to enhance their communities.
On a functional council, this stuff should be self-policing and there really should rarely be cause for it to be newsworthy. Mr. Rae ought to know better. With a stronger and balanced Council, there wouldn’t be a need for characters like Ford to keep them in check.
I maintain my position that the more new blood on Council after the Toronto municipal elections in the fall, the better off we all are. Vote for your local underdog.