May 11

City Council Scorecard: Garbage, Bridges, Committees & Sewage

Toronto Council Scorecard

May 25, 2011 Update: Download (PDF) – Download (PNG) – Google Docs

Last week saw a big three-day council meeting filled with all sorts of exciting developments. I’ve added four votes to the City Council Scorecard. By my count, Council has now considered 17 major items since their term began in December.

In other exciting developments, I’ve finally published the scorecard as a Google Spreadsheet for easier viewing.

New Votes

The four votes added:

  • PW3.1 — The garbage issue, pertaining to solid waste collection west of Yonge Street and litter collection in parks. While initially written as an all-in-one motion that would see council vote to both send a contract out to tender and automatically approve the best bid through the Bid Committee, the mayor and his team conceded to their opponents prior to the meeting and promised to amend the item. As passed, the item is an invitation to the private sector to submit bids. Council will then examine their numbers versus the status quo, and determine how to best proceed.
  • MM8.6 — The motion that killed the Fort York bridge. Sticklers and apologists will tell you that the bridge wasn’t killed when Councillor Mike Layton’s motion to reintroduce the item to council failed to achieve a two-thirds majority vote, but they’re being pedantic. The outcome of this vote means that it will likely be 2015 before anything gets built, which is a lifetime in political terms.
  • EX5.3, Motion 1a — The ultimate outcome of the mayor’s attempt to eliminate citizen advisory committees was delayed by a month, as motions to save many of the committees on the chopping block were referred to the mayor’s office. Staff will report back at the next council meeting, at which time we’ll learn which of them — if any — will survive. One committee that will definitely live on is the Aboriginal Affairs Committee, as Layton was successful in passing a motion that saved the group, despite the objections of Mayor Ford. A relatively minor vote compared to others on the scorecard, but important because it was a major defeat for the mayor.
  • PW3.5, Motion 1 — In an item relating to the treatment facility at Ashbridges Bay, Councillor Gord Perks moved an amendment that would see the city move toward using environmentally-friendly ultraviolet light technology in the facility, instead of the chlorination process used in other city facilities. Team Ford lost this one, though they might have won had more councillors been in the chamber when voting took place.

Trend Watch

Only 13 councillors remain in the 100% club, having voted with the mayor on every major item. The are: Paul Ainslie, Vincent Crisanti,  Mike Del Grande, Doug Ford, Mark Grimes, Doug Holyday, Norman Kelly,  Denzil Minnan-Wong,  Frances Nunziata, Cesar Palacio, David Shiner, Michael Thompson and Giorgio Mammoliti. On the other end of the spectrum, Gord Perks and Pam McConnell continue to share the crown in the anti-Ford club, with Perks holding a slight edge because McConnell has missed a couple of votes.


Questions about the Council Scorecard? Read my notes on methodology. Also, you can email me.

May 11

Council Scorecard Update: How did your councillor vote on city boards, bottled water and service reviews?

TO Council Scorecard - April 30, 2011

It’s that time again — the City Council Scorecard has been updated with items from the council meeting which took place on April 12 and 13. (For a full blow-by-blow, read Jonathan Goldsbie’s minutes over at OpenFile. They’re so good.) The City Clerk was a bit delayed getting the motions and votes posted for these items, likely because everyone is working overtime attempting to figure out the full ramifications of the infamous Adam Vaughan amendment.

This update includes three votes, two that are interesting because they were actual losses for the mayor — albeit small ones — and one that represents the critical first step toward achieving one of his most important objectives.

  • EX4.7, Motion 8 — Moved by Vaughan, its intent was to guarantee council representation on the city’s agencies, boards and committees. A staff report had recommended some changes to the structure of these bodies. Ford’s “quarterback” Giorgio Mammoliti whipped this vote, but enough councillors ignored the whip that this was a loss for Team Ford.
  • GM2.16, Motion 2 – Moved by Mammoliti, this was an attempt to use the debate over healthy snacks in vending machines to rescind the earlier council direction to phase out the sale of bottled water on city property. Vote was also whipped, and again resulted in a loss for Team Ford. Notable historical fact: the original request for the bottled water ban in 2008 was moved by Ford ally and budget chief Mike Del Grande. He excused himself from the vote this time, and is recorded as ‘Absent.’
  • EX4.10 – This is the item that will begin this summer’s service review extravaganza, which is where the gravy-carrying trains will be identified and eliminated. Or so the story goes. Only six councillors voted against this, which shows that council’s left is not as obstructionist as some would have you believe.

Trend watch: The 18-24 vote on the bottled water item serves as a good indicator of how council could break down against the mayor. Both Jaye Robinson and Michelle Berardinetti continue to show a tendency to ignore the whip and vote with their conscience. If they became more firmly aligned with council’s middle, Ford will see real challenges when it comes to service cuts and other contentious items.

Questions about the Council Scorecard? Read my notes on methodology. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.


Mar 11

How the TCHC vote went down: A City Council Scorecard Update

Toronto Council Scorecard

The March 13, 2011 City Council Scorecard is available for download (PDF).

After some internal debate, I’ve updated the City Council Scorecard to reflect last week’s council sessions. Only one vote was ultimately added: the final vote on whether to dissolve the TCHC board and appoint Case Ootes as Managing Director in their place. I considered adding other votes — notably Kristyn Wong-Tam’s compromise amendment and Shelley Carroll’s motion for tighter financial controls — but none, in my opinion, could be considered ‘major.’ If you’re curious to see what Rob Ford voted against last week, I’ve compiled a list. I’ve also indicated who from “Team Ford” broke ranks and voted against the “whip.”

Notes & Updates:

  • With their votes against the mayor, Josh Matlow & Ana Bailão saw their “Ford Nation” percentages decrease. Josh Colle, Mary-Margaret McMahon and Chin Lee voted with the mayor. Colle, Matlow and McMahon are all at 60% and represent probably the purest ‘swing vote’ on council.
  • I’ve added colour-coding next to councillor names in the leftmost column to indicate the generally-accepted affiliation of councillors. Light blue for Ford loyalists, orange for the swing vote middle and bike-riding pink for the opposition. I’ve perhaps been premature in my putting Cho in with the opposition, but I feel pretty confident he’ll stay there. Yes, this kind of labelling promotes partisanship and divisiveness. Council would totally work together if not for this kind of damaging rhetoric.
  • I’ve also added vote totals for each item at the bottom, just for the hell of it.

The next council meeting is April 12 & 13. If you have any questions, comments or requests, let me know.

Mar 11

Is your councillor part of Ford Nation? Introducing the City Council Scorecard

Toronto Council ScorecardI’ve launched a new section here at FordForToronto: the City Council Scorecard. This PDF file compiles the results of all major votes taken so far this council session, then provides a “Ford Nation” percentage indicating how often councillors have sided with the mayor on key issues.

You can read more about it here, or download the newest edition of the City Council Scorecard (PDF).

Currently the scorecard covers nine votes. On those items, 18 councillors have voted with the mayor 100% of the time. Only one councillor, Pam McConnell, has voted against the mayor 100% of the time on major issues.

I will update the Scorecard with any major items that occur during this week’s session. Stay tuned.

Update: At Toronto Life, John Michael McGrath has taken the Scorecard and mapped the percentages. Interesting to compare with the election results map.

Updated 2: Torontoist was nice enough to let me contribute a piece for them about the Scorecard. It includes a few different views of the data and a bit of commentary.