This scorecard marks the final update for the 2011 City Council. I plan to start fresh next month with a new spreadsheet. The Ford Nation percentages will, of course, carry over, so we’ll still be able to see month-to-month trends.
The November council meeting was an important one, even if it sort of ended up lost amidst all the budget news that was happening — and continues to happen — at committee. Still, the meeting saw some critical movement, as the mayor found himself opposed by one of his most loyal executive committee members on a key item relating to the garbage budget.
In other big news, one councillor who formerly occupied the mushy/mighty middle has now opposed the mayor on enough major votes that we have to consider her an official member of the Pinko Commie Brigade. (Or whatever we’re calling the growing group of councillors who tend to oppose the mayor.)
The year ends with a council definitively more divided than it was at this time last year. The mayor still commands about 23 votes, including his own. On the other end of the spectrum, there are now 17 councillors who tend to oppose the mayor’s policies on most issues. That leaves five truly “middle” councillors, though all of them have been trending away from the mayor in recent months.
The votes added:
- EX13.2, Motion 1 was a stinging defeat for the mayor. As part of next year’s solid waste budget, the mayor had backed a KPMG recommendation to reduce the number of Community Environment Days across the city. Currently, each ward holds one event, where residents can drop off hazardous materials and pick up compost. The original draft of the budget recommended cutting the number of such days down to 11. After some grumbling, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong proposed a compromise, upping the number to 22. But that wasn’t enough for David Shiner, who has backed the mayor almost religiously up until now. Shiner made a motion to retain the program as is. It passed 30-11, with the mayor unable to marshall much support.
- EX13.2, Motion 3 was a move by Councillor Mike Layton to reverse a new policy in the 2012 Solid Waste Budget that will result in charities, not-for-profit organizations and religious institutions being charged for waste pick-up. Historically, these organizations have been exempt from paying commercial rates. Layton’s motion would have preserved the status quo and asked for a report on strategies to increase diversion rates — the amount of stuff that ends up in blue or green bins — at these organizations. Layton’s motion was defeated in a close vote, drawing surprising support from James Pasternak and super surprising support from Paul Ainslie.
- MM14.3 was one of those items that seems a lot more important in retrospect. Emerging from Councillor John Filion’s office, the item would have allowed council to debate and vote on the direction the city will take in upcoming negotiations with its workers. Traditionally, such matters are dealt with by the Employee Labour & Relations Committee, whose decisions aren’t subject to council review and approval. The item, which needed two-thirds to pass, was never likely to go anywhere, but it’s notable because it stands as an early indicator of how councillors feel about the upcoming labour lockout. (Also notable: Councillor Chin Lee, who is the only councillor on the Employee Labour & Relations Committee not affiliated with the mayor, voted in favour of neutering the powers of his own committee. He also voted against the committee’s final direction to negotiators last week.)
Please welcome Ana Bailão to the ranks of the opposition. With these votes, her total Ford Nation percentage dipped below 30%, which I’ve decided is a magic arbitrary line. (The other magic arbitrary line is at 70%.) Bailão has been consistent in voting against the mayor since the summer.
The Community Environment Day vote saw several councillors lose their status as 100% Rob Ford Loyalists, including Paul Ainslie and Giorgio “The quarterback” Mammoliti.
As mentioned, we go into 2012 with the mayor still holding control of the 23 votes he needs to push things through council. To really obstruct Rob Ford’s policies, it’s critical that at least one Ford-allied councillor break ranks and move to the middle. Jaye Robinson and James Pasternak are the best bets.
The mayor caps off 2011 with a batting average of 70.6%. (Or .706 if you’re a real baseball nerd.) Of note, his win rate on major votes for the first half of 2011 was 79%. For the second half of the year, that figure declined to 60%.