We are sensitive at When the Mayor Smiles.
From the grave we hear former U.S. Vice President Spiro T. Agnew calling out those “nattering nabobs of negativism” and we know of whom he speaks.
So today we’ll take the high road and recognize someone who stands out from the norm in the world of local government.
That would be Giorgio Mammoliti. Today is his 50th birthday.
For those of you from a planet other than Toronto you need to know that Councillor Mammoliti represents Ward 7 (York West) in the centre of the universe.
He’s been in politics pretty much consistently since he was 28. Following a time as a union leader Mammoliti began his political career as part of the Ontario NDP government of Bob Rae.
Mammoliti now recognizes that unsuccessful attempts were made to “try to brainwash me in my early career by communists.” He mentions no names but it is clear from recent comments that there remain, even now, many “well-bodied able to work” types who make a career of “asking for money from the taxpayers” who are still operating. He can smell them.
Back in those formative days the member for Yorkview was not intimidated into toeing the “party line” likely leading to his defeat in 1995. Some will argue, wrongly I believe, that his vocal opposition to same sex marriage was a contributing factor in his loss to Liberal Mario Sergio in the 95 provincial election.
Not one to be discouraged though Mammoliti was successful soon after in a by-election run for North York Council. There he replaced the man who knocked him off as MPP (Sergio) by beating the man (Claudio Polsinelli) he had defeated in 1990.
Immediately the rookie Councillor got to work in trying to attract an NHL franchise to North York. The ideas just keep coming; grand ideas; big picture stuff. Here are a few:
** Transforming the Gardiner Expressway into a park featuring a privately operated Light Rail Transit line running from the CNE to the DVP.
** Building a floating casino in Ontario Place Harbour.
** Bringing in the army to crack down on drug dealers in his ward.
**Making the ward safer through the creation of special zone for legal brothels on the Toronto Islands some distance from his ward.
**Tolling the Lakeshore.
**Giving guns to by-law officers thereby making parking regulations easier to enforce and additionally making taxpayers’ days by rubbing out Toronto’s horrendous graffiti problem as well.
** Filling the lottery void we have in this country by starting a municipal one.
**Hanging a 40 metre wide vinyl Canadian flag from a 125 metre flagpole at the corner of Highway #400 and Finch Avenue West. Oh Canada!
It is comforting to know that such long term thinkers still function in the local realm that is so often dominated by short sighted, pothole obsessed ward politicians.