George Smitherman's much-anticipated economic plan, released Monday, September 27, after a speech at the Economic Club, pretty much adds up - if you exclude the $100 mil he's counting on from his old buddies at the province to balance Toronto's books.
Was this the same guy who's been chastising the Miller regime for going "begging, cap in hand" to the province? Anyhoo....
The other hole in the budget balancing act: staff cuts through attrition. Smitherman says he won't touch emergency services, which make up about 70 per cent of the operating budget.
All of this means the cuts he's talking about will have to come from things like parks and transportation services. Unavoidable.
The figure Smitherman doesn't seem to be concerning himself with is the number in attendance to hear his budget speech - half the size of Rocco Rossi's.
But that was before Rock went from curiosity to maybe also-ran.
Meanwhile, Toronto's favourite mayor who never was, CFRB Live Drive host and one-time Ontario PC leader John H. Tory, has been making the rounds on the campaign circuit.
Tory's lending his name and substantial political clout to Denzil Minnan-Wong in Don Valley East and political newbie Liz West, who's taking on Millerite Paula Fletcher in Toronto-Danforth.
Did Tory's role as influential broadcast journalist or his position with the City Summit Alliance enter into his thinking before he attached his name to Minnan-Wong's and West's campaigns? Dear John, the people need to know.
Over at the Sun, City Hall columnist Sue-Ann Levy sloughed off a Star columnist's suggestion that Rob Ford's $1,000 donation to Levy's campaign when she ran for the PCs in 2009 in St. Paul's may be colouring her coverage of the race.
The appearance of a conflict of interest is as bad as an actual conflict, the saying goes. Perhaps some kind of disclosure on Levy's part early in the campaign would have been advisable, just to keep things above board.
But the Star's being too hard on Levy. She took a pretty good shot at Ford's phantom financial plan released under the cloak of darkness on YouTube this week. So there.
Speaking of YouTube, there's more dirt coming out of Davenport.
There, Jonah Schein, who's trying to unseat incumbent Cesar Palacio, has been the target of anonymous attack ads on the Tube.
One short entitled Jonah Schein: Scared Of Bugs, takes a shot at Schein's call for support for tenants hit by the pests. The ad ends: "What is he, five?"
Another spot showing Schein on a bike calls the candidate "unfaithful to cars."
Alejandra Bravo, who came within 300 votes of unseating Palacio in 2006, is backing Schein.
Déjà vu for Karen Stintz? The Eglinton-Lawrence councillor, who rode into office on the wave of community opposition to Minto Towers at Yonge and Eg, is facing some unlikely opposition. It's from some of the same folks who drafted her to run against Anne Johnston way back when.
Enter Patrick Smyth, one of five in the Coalition for Municipal Change who paid for the Councillor Wanted ad that drafted Stintz in 2003. "She's never met a developer she couldn't trust!" now says Smyth. Ouch.
Residents are angry, says Smyth, at Stintz's efforts to push through a number of developments, creeping into established residental neighbourhoods.
Notable among supporters at George Smitherman's Regent Park BBQ on the weekend: Toronto Centre-Rosedale councillor and noted lefty Pam McConnell, who's endorsing Smitherman over council colleague Joe Pantalone.
McConnell introduced Smitherman at the event. The two go back to when Smitherman was an eager beaver just getting his start in politics.
Best idea of the week: Joe Pantalone's about turning Yonge between Dundas and Queen into a pedestrian zone in the summer. It's practically one already.