By PAT WATSON
The most recent silliness from the corner of the world that is occupied by such characters as Toronto Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, Ward 7 York West, is a photograph taken by Mammoliti and posted with comments drawing a conclusion about what the image meant.
The photo of a staff person employed by the city allegedly napping at his or her desk had Mammoliti in utter wrath at the disrespect being given in exchange for taxpayers’ money.
Mammoliti took this action at a time when worker morale under the present configuration of Toronto City Council and its leaders is already falling.
Adding to the imprudence displayed by Mammoliti making a spectacle of this moment in time, our current mayor jumped on the bandwagon by calling for firing of not only the alleged sleeping staffer but his or her manager as well.
So what is really going on here?
Well, how about this: Recall the decision by Judge Charles Hackland in November 2012 that our iconoclastic mayor Rob Ford was in contempt – not to mention acting with belligerence – showing willful blindness in violating the Ontario Conflict of Interest Act when he refused to make restitution for soliciting funds for his football charity from lobbyists. The contempt decision was because Ford sent out his solicitation requests on his office letterhead, a violation of council rules.
Mere hours after Hackland’s ruling came down, Mammoliti made a survival move to distance himself from Ford by giving up his seat on city hall’s executive committee, chaired by Ford. At the time he said something along the lines of having been advised that it was the right thing to do.
Nevertheless, one broad interpretation was disloyalty to Ford. These two have had some kind of frick-and-frack relationship that has some history. Notable among them is Ford’s reference to Mammoliti during a disagreement as “Gino-boy” and “scammer”. These are small samples of the relationship between these two caricatures.
But, this is a new day. Mammoliti’s gamble did not pay off because Ford appealed Hackland’s ruling and is still mayor. Yet, as the story unfolds, with former deputy mayor Doug Holyday now a member of the provincial parliament, his vacant seat on the executive committee at city hall needed to be filled.
Mammoliti then, is back in. His seeming need for attention, even if it is negative attention, however, has not been rehabilitated, despite claiming a new perspective on life following brain surgery. To quote Ford: (Mammoliti) is feeling better now that he’s had that little operation.”
There’s always method to Mammoliti’s madness, and let it not go unnoticed a measure of madness in Mammoliti’s method, at least it seems that way to a good number of more balanced people.
Perhaps if a graph was done on the timing of his public antics some kind of pattern might emerge that would give a clearer sense of when and why. For now, it would be possible to discern that he wants to show that he’s playing for the team once again.
Whatever nonsense this particular career politician and former Toronto mayoral candidate comes up with, he continues to be voted in by the residents in Ward 7, so one could reason that either he is doing right by the constituents in his ward, or that there aren’t enough citizens there to vote him out. Perhaps Ward 7 would benefit from a drive to have more of its residents become citizens of this country so they can have a say in who becomes their next councillor, because the earnest silliness that emanates from Mammoliti’s mind makes a mockery of the office.
Any responsible councillor finding a staff person apparently asleep at his or her desk might consider further investigation or speaking to the person’s supervisor to get a better understanding of what was going on. The notion that this would be representative of the culture of city workers is one implied subtext to broadcasting the photo with commentary. It is an insult to the hardworking and increasingly impoverished in this city that characters like Mammoliti are given the privilege of receiving a salary in excess of $102,000 of taxpayers’ money. Moreover, there isn’t enough space here to go into the list of questionable activities attached to Mammoliti during his time in office.
A note on a new marathon record…
Congratulations to Ethiopian distance runner, Deressa Chimsa, 26, for not only finishing first in Sunday’s Waterfront Marathon but also clocking the fastest marathon time on Canadian soil – two hours, 28 minutes.