Time to close the city hall cooler, it is Miller Time no more.
Toronto’s mayor has decided to go out on his own shield his way, instead of courtesy of an election loss, how gallant, how cowardly, how smart.
David Miller has announced that he will not run in the upcoming municipal election, leaving his track record to stand on two consecutive terms. Exactly how successful he has been and the impact he has made really depends on you, the Toronto citizen and how you see your current life. Did he make a difference for you? Did he make our fair city better?
When Miller was first voted in, he did so holding a broom high, claiming he would clean up the city. The fact he promised to kill a proposal for a bridge to Toronto’s island airport drove him over the top to victory, claim some pundits. Well, here we are in 2009 and Porter Airlines planes an expansion of its island airport and underwater tunnel to the airport is in the works instead.
We have come out of a smelly and frustrating municipal workers strike this past summer and here is where Miller’s legacy will truly be judged. He was backed to power by unions and his settlement with the unions this past summer will remain “his” to wear. Recently it was revealed that the city knew the paid sick leave payouts they were quoting during the strike were actually $200 million less than what they were supposed to be, only casting a longer shadow on the strike and settlement.
Miller’s reputation took a beating during that strike and his cutesy ploy to squeeze Ottawa to pay for new streetcars, which would be made in Sudbury, using federal stimulus infrastructure money, only demonstrates how frustrating he had become as mayor. Whatever achievements he has made have been forgotten. Disagree? Tell me what substantial difference he did make?
With either John Tory or George Smitherman or both running for mayor next year, Miller knew he was in for a harsh dog fight and likely a loss. By announcing his intentions to not run he has avoided the certain skewering of his record and massive holes blown in it the election campaign would bring. His intentions to not run again in order to spend more time with family is admirable and believable and he also gets to leave with some dignity in tact.
The time for change and this city to secure a new vision has arrived.