Mega-mayor Mel Lastman made headlines Wednesday when he weighed in on Mayor Rob Ford’s term in office in a less-than-flattering way.
“I’m not a genius, obviously, but he makes me look like one. I know him, he’s stubborn and stubborn sometimes is good, but not constantly. You can’t be that stubborn and run a city,” Lastman told the Sun.
Ford and his office have yet to respond to the verbal slap from the mayoral predecessor.
Councillor Doug Ford kept his powder dry and simply said: “God bless Mel Lastman.
“We’ll put our record up against his any day,” Ford said Thursday.
A diplomatic Councillor Michael Thompson said that he “loves Mel and always will.”
“I know that Rob is working hard. I know that Mel worked hard,” Thompson said. “It’s a matter of style — a different style.
“Clearly, we want people who are running the city to focus their attention
on the good things to address and to allow for the city to work for the best interests of our citizens.”
Councillor Adam Vaughan said Ford has made every past mayor “look better” — not just Lastman.
“But I appreciate Mel’s sense of humour on this one,” Vaughan said. “I think what Mel is recognizing is that he may have had five or six gaffes, Rob is having five or six (gaffes) a month.”
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti said Lastman had the benefit of being a politician for around 30 years before taking on the mega-city.
“When you get the benefit of being a politician, you get the benefit of trying to work around the system properly, understand the bureaucracy and
(Lastman) did that well,” Mammoliti said. “Rob hasn’t been a politician for 30 years, so it is going to take him a long time to figure out how to best manoeuvre around the bureaucracy and make his agenda.”
Back when he was a councillor, Ford was no stranger to taking a shot at then-mayor Lastman.
Ford weighed in in January 2002 about Lastman’s very public handshake with a member of the Hells Angels.
The then-councillor said Lastman’s move would hurt the mayor in the long term.
“I’m sure he does it purposely. What else could it be? You can’t be that dumb,” Ford said.