[URBAN NOTE] "Mayor Rob Ford axes New Year's levee"
I'm linking to the Toronto Sun's article (written by Don Peat) about Mayor Rob Ford's decision not to continue Toronto's tradition of a New Year's levee because the comments of readers at the site of the right-wing tabloid are universally hostile to Ford. (This, in the journal that was the press organ of Ford Nation.)
The annual New Year’s meet-and-greet won’t be happening in 2013, Mark Towhey, Ford’s chief of staff, confirmed Tuesday.
“We won’t hold the traditional New Year’s levee on (Jan. 1),” Towhey said. “We’re looking at other options.”
The event is an annual tradition in which the mayor and a collection of city councillors greet well wishers at Toronto City Hall.
Towhey insisted the cancellation of the event — which Ford held in 2011 and 2012 — had nothing to do with the mayor’s ongoing court battle to stay in office.
“I think it was due to a scheduling issue … also cost,” Towhey said.
A judge recently tossed Ford out of office after ruling he violated conflict-of-interest rules. Ford won a stay last week pending the outcome of an appeal, which is slated to begin on Jan. 7.
A city spokesman said Ford’s levee cost the city $4,500 in 2011 and $3,400 in 2012. Councillor Adam Vaughan said the levee’s cancellation was another sign Ford is a “part-time mayor.”
“I guess he’s resting up for a big campaign,” Vaughan quipped.