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Linda Jeffrey – Comment on The Guardian’s Assessment of the Mayor after 2 years in office

 

Accountability: B      CFBB: B

We believe the Guardian rating to be reasonable. Although it was already suspected that the salary levels and numbers of City staff were bloated, the Mayor did retain the services of former Auditor General Jim McCarter to confirm the fact. It then awaited the retention of a new CAO to carry out the wholesale reductions a few months after he was hired. She can, therefore, take credit for the changes which were done under her watch. Her inability to move quickly on settling the Inzola lawsuit allowed this significant cloud to overhang her first two years in Brampton, and it still remains outstanding. Fairly or unfairly, she is now “wearing” it.

Transparency: C      CFBB: C

We agree with the Guardian’s assessment. It is not just that information that should be in the public eye was hidden; it is that there seems to be an attitude that the need to communicate and share information with the public simply doesn’t matter or isn’t important. The media should not have its questions and requests go unanswered.

Leadership: C      CFBB: C –

We believe that playing a leadership role at City Hall is not her area of strength. She appears to have difficulty building trust and across the Board loyalty, and consensus is all too often a victim. Her quiet demeanour and inability to promote important issues with energy and insight has not inspired.

Her specific performance on the LRT route through downtown to the GO station was surprisingly uninspiring and uninformed. She seemed unaware of municipal political process and the history of this file, and her vote in Council was confusing and unexplainable, even to the other Councillors some of whom were in support of her position.

She seems to desire anonymity regularly, protected by a cadre of paid staff in her office whose job descriptions and daily responsibilities are unknown. Her open door for the community all too often seems to be focused on a few groups who are in agreement with her positions.

Her criticism of Bill Davis and the University panel was unnecessary and not useful, and showed an annoyance which both surprised and angered.

CFBB would adjust the rating to a C –

Vision: B –  CFBB: B –

We would agree with the rating. However, the Mayor’s style and personality do not show excitement and enthusiasm for accepted and stated community visions for Brampton such as the potential “game changer” university for Brampton, or the Etobicoke Creek Rejuvenation project which, when completed, will obviate the need for the downtown development flood control restrictions. It has been a private group of Brampton business and community leaders called New Brampton which has initiated organizational and conceptual planning visions trying to move Brampton forward in the short term.

Public Engagement: B        CFBB: B

Again, we would agree with the Guardian. After a very poor start of public engagement involving the LRT project, the Mayor changed her position, and engaged the public in well attended sessions which helped immensely to reach a conclusion on the route. The public is now welcomed to make delegations at public Council meetings on items of community interest.

On the other hand, the Mayor is very selective in choosing where she will appear as a speaker, and too often does not even respond to invitations to address groups at their functions.  

Overall Summary Grade: B       CFBB: B –

We believe that an overall grade of B- would be more in line with our thinking. In our opinion, the Mayor’s halfway term has not been a failure, but she has been a disappointment, especially because of the expectation we had at the beginning of her term.

The good news is that there is reasonable room going forward to see and have positive progress for the last years of her mandate.


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