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"Each day seems to bring more surprises from the mayor and the dysfunctional council!"
– Recent email from ex-senior city staff
Dysfunctional is a pretty harsh word. But it is one term being used to describe Toronto city council in the wake of what the budget chief calls a "brutal summer" confronting the city's fiscal crisis.
Halfway through the first year of a four-year term, city council has done enough mind-boggling things to set off alarm bells.Councillors couldn't agree on who would sit where for their team picture at the start of the year, forcing a reschedule of the official council photo shoot.
Middle-of-the road Councillor Brian Ashton was tossed from the executive committee and branded "a weasel" because he voted against the mayor's tax measure.
Councillors tried to force a frugal colleague, Ward 2 maverick Rob Ford, to spend taxpayer money to run his office.
The TTC in August threatened to close the Sheppard subway, saying the mothballing would save $10 million. Oops, sorry. Make that $300,000. Forget about the subway closure. And, by the way, transit fares are going up next month.
Councillor Michael Walker has filed a legal opinion charging the mayor illegally denied councillors the right to vote on a budget item, namely, the closing of community centres.
And now David Miller's flip-flop on those Monday closings – essentially, a disruption that need not have happened.