Saturday, November 9, 2013

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: His Fall from Grace Is of His Own Making

The City Hall at Toronto (Photo by Jerome D'Costa: Nov. 8, 2013)
The Toronto Star of November 6, 2013 reporting Mayor Rob Ford's admission of smoking crack cocaine
National Post of Nov. 6, 2013
Toronto Sun of November 6, 2013
The weekly Maclean's  (Toronto)
Now weekly of November 7, 2013 (Toronto)
The Grid weekly of November 7, 2013 (Toronto)
Rob Ford, with the full name of Robert Bruce Ford, is the present mayor of Toronto, the largest city in Canada. The people of Toronto elected him a mayor because of his emphasis on reducing excessive costs in running the city and not burdening people with more increased taxes. In so doing, he faced opposition from a number of councilors as well as city-dwellers.

His work style and personal behavior also began to antagonize some councilors and some citizens although suburban people in a great number were still supporting him.
In the last three years, the mistakes he made brought about his recent fall from grace that is of his own making. 

Some of these mistakes being:

  • Allowing too much “brothering” in the City Hall: Instead of using experienced deputy mayors and councilors, Rob Ford allowed his brother Doug Ford, a rookie councilor, to be with him in the City Hall in all matters. His brother served as his enabler, mentor, adviser, and even a spokesperson. His brother was the first to defend the mayor from all attacks and oppositions.  His brother’s presence with him was a constant fixture. This was not only an eyesore, but also disturbing to many in the city. Too much brothering also gave one the impression that other councilors were inferior or incapable. This led to a low morale among the City Hall staff.
  •  Alienating media personnel: For some reason or other, Mayor Rob Ford ignored some media people and gave preference to others. This created enemies who were after him trying to find fault with him right and left. As a result, the mayor had to waste much time in denials. Initially, The Toronto Star was after him, later followed by The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Sun and some other media. The relentless pursuit of these media ultimately proved that the mayor smoked crack cocaine during a drunken stupor. 
  •  Failure to articulate his views and plans: Being an introverted type of person, Rob Ford is a man of few words and he desperately avoided facing people, media personnel, and opponents with difficult questions. His one or two-word answers were irritating and left people in the dark. His few words created more puzzles than answers. He lacked in persuasive language, resulting in fewer answers than solutions. Being a public person, when speaking, he failed to show empathy, explain things to the satisfaction of the people. He, thereby, failed to be transparent.
  •  A man with a big ego and arrogance: His egotistic attitude and arrogant behavior alienated many, who were eager to see his downfall. People are ready to accept an incompetent person with some humility and approachableness than an expert with egoistic and arrogant attitude. He gave the feeling that he and his brother were the only ones with all the right answers and solutions to problems. This was not a healthy situation at all. 
  •  Being a creature of his habit: Experts say that frequent heavy drinking gradually leads a person to taking drugs. In case of the mayor, this might have been so. But he was in denial for a long time even after the media revealed it. It is a common sense that a newbie drug-taker would never be in a place, known to be a “crack house,” with a number of unsavory druggie buddies. What his powerful opponents and journalists could not do in years, his druggie pals did in minutes! A few seconds’ video made Rob Ford to admit that he in fact had taken drug in a drunken stupor. 
  •  Using office time for personal reasons. The media showed with proof how the mayor used office hours to meet with his questionable friend as well as for coaching Don Bosco School football team members. Yet he was in denial.
Heavy drinking and taking crack cocaine are a person’s personal matter, but when this very act is done by a public servant it becomes a public matter. It shows how responsible and accountable a public servant is to the public. This brings in the question of whether that person is a reliable leader. 

Under these circumstances, our Mayor Rob Ford needs to stop acting like an immature person. He needs to own up to his actions. He requires to stand up and take such a decision now that will help stop wasting any more time, money, and energy of the Mayor’s office. City Hall workers are also constantly being distracted and humiliated. His appropriate decision will save the City of Toronto from further ridicule of the world media and their audiences.

To read more on Mayor Bob Ford and the situation of the City of Toronto, you may read the following:

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