One of the opposition’s many victories at council last week came on Thursday, when councillors voted 18 to 17 to use ultraviolet light technology at the Ashbridges Bay treatment plant. Staff had recommended the city use the same chlorine process they use at other treatment facilities which, plainly, sucks for the environment.
Though Giorgio Mammoliti gave the item his trademark thumbs down, it still passed narrowly. Helped along by the ten councillors who were absent at the time of the vote — six of whom would, presumably, have sided with the mayor and Mammoliti’s thumb –, the deciding vote came from a somewhat unlikely source.
The Toronto Sun’s Don Peat:
While Ford and his loyalists tried to sway the vote, a member of his own executive committee, Councillor Michelle Berardinetti, cast the deciding vote for the costlier option.
Berardinetti told the Sun Friday she felt the UV technology made sense.
“Is it a notch up? I think that it is,” she said.
But knowing now that she was the deciding vote, Berardinetti, a budget committee member, said she probably would have voted differently.
via City opts for costlier, cleaner way to treat water | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun. [Emphasis added.]
First: What kind of politician admits to the media that their vote on an important environmental measure would have been different, had said politician known the measure was actually going to pass?
Second: I hope the residents of Ward 35 are proud of their councillor, who stands by her principles but only when she’s pretty sure her vote won’t make a difference.
Third, and confidential to Berardinetti: From what we’ve seen, we rather like your principles. I understand that the politician calculations you’re making hinge on a number of things — the mayor’s huge support among your constituents, your husband’s electoral future, and the committee seats you’ve been given by the mayor’s office — but why even hold the office if not to stand up for what you believe in?