I can hear the reaction now when I write what I've been thinking for some time: "Tom Jakobek for Mayor!"
"But he lied!" some will say.
From 25 years of reporting on municipal government, experience tells me the shrillest screams are coming from miffed media and politicians, both of whom just happen to be at the bottom of the public's popularity ladder.
It's payback time at Toronto City Hall, as the NDP controlled City Council is exacting its pound of flesh from former Toronto Budget Chief, Tom Jakobek. In recent weeks there has been a lot of innuendo surrounding supposed dirty deals between Jakobek and MFP supersalesman Dash Domi. Most of this was made public by the Inquiry and its lawyers, who are bound and determined to lynch Jakobek in the media
"Write down the date November 11 on the wall where you can't help but see it," someone sage once advised me.
It was a long ago municipal election year and the someone sage was former city auditor Jack Rabinowitz. Every election year, my life is hell. Toronto Free Press, which zeroes in on the wasteful municipal level, is always on the forefront of civic politics and has been for 13 years. It isn't so much that TFP is all that formidable, it's that some civic politicians perceive it to be. That's enough for politicians to make municipal election time a circus. On days when it was becoming too much, Rabinowitz gave me the comforting advice that it would all be over the day after election. I've thought of his advice every election year since.
If ever there was a need to resurrect Project 80, the former police unit dedicated to probing municipal corruption, the Friends of Barbara Hall group is it.
Disbanded by the Metro council that morphed into the council of the current day, Project 80 was loathed by the politicians. They were never comfortable with an active unit, comprised of province-wide police officers, there to keep them in check.
Brash, frank and undaunted by recent political setbacks
By Jessica Padykula
With Mel Lastman almost out of the picture, a whole new crop of wannabee mayors has sprung up in hopes of claiming the title. One of those racing for the crown is Tom Jakobek, perhaps the brashest and most outspoken of the candidates.
Tom Jakobek has been in Toronto’s political scene for the past 20 years as City Councillor in the Beaches, (the neighbourhood where Tom grew up and still calls home) where countless community, recreational and environmental projects were created and nurtured by him. For ten of those years he was highly effective as Toronto’s Budget Chief and used his municipal financing expertise to deliver nine balanced budgets with nine consecutive ZERO tax increases, and even during the difficult times he made sure that our essential services received more funding, not less. In 2000, Tom took a break from politics to fulfill yet another dream and graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters in Health Sciences.
Many people in our City see arts and culture as simply a form of entertainment. While we would not dispute the entertainment value, it seems to me that there are two other relevant facts which need to be mentioned.
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