Mayor Rob Ford's stubborn refusal to address substantively the allegations of drug use, and the reputational contagion and distraction it has caused, needs to be addressed in short order.
Councillors should take all reasonable steps to procure Mr. Ford's addressing of the issue, and if not, escalate as appropriate, including initiating removal from office if Mr. Ford does not answer the allegations, so the City's business can continue. Mr. Ford's brother, Councillor Doug Ford, is in a conflict of interest and should remove himself from any process.
In a corporate setting, a Chief Executive engaging in similar patterns of behavior would not be tolerated by any board of directors. The CEO would have been fired long ago.
There are two issues here. One is behaviour. The second is the ability to operate. The behaviour -- ranging from alleged conflicts of interest, boozing, womanizing, and now crack cocaine use, means that the Mayor's political influence has become toxic. His ability to reach across the aisle, procure concessions, exert influence, and come to deals -- so critical in the political process -- has effectively ended. Operators and CEOs in the private sector would likely exercise an abundance of caution in discussions and City investment for reasons of reputation and the inability of the Mayor to broker consensus.
Any CEO who had similar patterns would be unable to lead and operate as well.
Corporations now take extremely seriously reputation risk and the corporate brand. All executives, and indeed any employee, are representative of that brand now, with social media. There are internal controls over integrity, codes of conduct, social media response teams, and crisis planning that were not present even a few years ago.
The notion that a CEO could not respond in a business setting simply would not happen. Toronto City Council needs to hold their chief executive accountable, so the more important issues before the City can be addressed.
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