Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Ford Nation planning to fill city boards with unqualified conservative cronies

Toronto News: Ford accused of stacking public appointments -
Early this year, we saw Case Ootes appointed to completely replace the TCHC board, and then Gordon Chong (part of Rob Ford's transition team) was appointed to to a job for $100,000 that the TTC does anyway.

Now, we find that Ford plans on gutting a lot of city boards of qualified and caring members and replacing them with unqualified conservative yes-people who will just do Ford's bidding (as opposed to doing what is best in relation to the board they are on). 

Here is the list of what Ford and his lackeys are doing:

- They only posted the job openings in The Toronto Sun. Everyone knows this is a very right-wing paper that is read mainly by hard right wing conservatives, and that their readership is not going to contain the best and the brightest.
-No current members of boards will be allowed to apply for membership this time around. City guidelines suggest keeping some current members and appointing some new members, and that membership should reflect Toronto's diversity. And citizens can't serve more than 2 continuous terms.
- Ford Nation councillors Francis Nunziata, Doug Ford and Georgio Mammoliti are picking applicants for a shortlist to recommend to Council for all the agencies, boards and commissions (including Toronto Public Library, Police Services, Toronto Water, Yonge-Dundas Square and all the others for the city - more than 200 positions)

Excerpts from the Toronto Star article:

Critics claim all this as evidence that Ford’s administration is
putting connections and right-wing beliefs ahead of committee-related
qualifications in a way that didn’t happen under Ford predecessors David
Miller or Mel Lastman.

“I think we have moved from a skills-based process to one based on
patronage and political affiliations,” said Councillor Joe Mihevc, a
former appointments committee member who recently visited a closed-door
session of the current committee chaired by Councillor Frances Nunziata.

“Instead of getting the best and the brightest we’re going to get the ones who are politically connected, and that’s a tragedy.”

Excerpts from the comments on The Toronto Star article:
What a surprise... Isn't that what was originally promised wouldn't happen? The worst thing that can happen to any city run agencies, boards, etc. is that it is run by people that are chosen for their affiliations, rather than their subject matter expertise. Now, if there are two candidates with equal expertise, no one could blame the mayor is he chooses one that is sharing his political view than someone who doesn't.

Qualified Candidates?  They advertised in the Sun, and received qualified candidates? I find that hard to believe.

That sound you just heard was the last remnants of social responsibility being flushed down the toilet by this administration.

People need to understand what is going on here.
City agencies should not be run by political ideologists - the purpose
of those agencies is to represent all Torontonians and to keep the
citizens interest at the root of their decision making. These
appointments are being made to stack these boards so that they will
serve a bigger political agenda. This is not how a democracy should
work - this is how fascists and dictators operate.

If the Ford administration just once did something
that was positive or made sense to the intelligent reader, rest assured
that it would be duly noted. Unfortunately, such a phenomenon has yet
to occur. It is close to impossible to write anything positive about an
elected official who makes one dumb move after the next...

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