Every so often voters want to shake the snoglobe of their city and have everything float around the glass and land in a different place. When I was at 680 News in Toronto and Rob Ford wasn’t much more than a bloated buffoon on council who was having to apologize for drunken outbursts at sports events, never ever would I have thought he would become that city’s Mayor one day.
Maybe part of his success last night was because he’s the antithesis of the classy and no-nonsense David Miller. Change is good and I’m always willing to suspend disbelief and give change a chance. It’s a lot easier than wringing my hands and worrying about something intangible. That approach is serving me well here in London where there is more change on the way. 3-term Mayor Anne Marie Diccico-Best has been tossed out by former MP Joe Fontana. Diccico-Best has been a decent Mayor, say most folks, but she’s complacent now and hasn’t been flexible enough to attract business to the city. We actually lost some industry to nearby communities that offered better tax breaks and other incentives. Fontana used to be my landlord when I lived here long ago and I’m not very fond of him on a personal level. The attitude among people I’ve talked to about him is, how much damage can he possibly do in four years? What’s kind of disturbing is that the white supremacist candidate for Mayor of London had attracted 28 votes by the time we turned in for the night. Considering that he voted for himself, that’s still 27 votes too many!
My former CHML colleague Bob Bratina is now Mayor-elect of Hamilton. I’m not Bob’s biggest fan but I truly believe he will be a hard-working Mayor who has the city’s best interests at heart. No one knows or loves Hamilton more than Bob and he’s a smart cookie. Old pal and former broadcaster Jason Farr won a seat on Hamilton Council last night, too.
Hurricane Hazel is still Mayor of Mississauga at age 89. How cool is that? But here at home it will be all eyes on Joe. Don’t screw it up buddy. Four years goes by quickly and your arrogant butt can be on a curb faster than a blue box on pick-up day.