How old is Shirley Hoy, the city of Toronto's recently retired manager? Or, a better question today, how old is her replacement, Joe Pennachetti?
Unfortunately, there's no answer here. Or anywhere. Neither Hoy and Pennachetti, for reasons unknown, will reveal a number on years lived. In yesterday's Globe and Mail, this oddity was written up like this: "Ms. Hoy, who is 57 (although neither she nor city officials would confirm her age yesterday), said she will step down..."
And, for Pannachetti, this: "Mr. Pennachetti, who is believed to be 54 although neither he nor city officials would confirm his age, has had a 32-year career as a municipal civil servant." (Some quick math says if this is his age, he would've started as a 22-year-old city employee. Impressive, but that's a pretty early age to start civil service, isn't it?)
The Toronto Star puts Pannachetti's age at 5-freaking-8.
A cursory search of Toronto.ca didn't give credence to either guess.
But why should it? Does it matter how old the city's top civil servant is? Should age not be important in public positions? Age is certainly accessible information in candidates up for elected positions. (Of course even in elected politics, the question can get prickly, you little jerk.)
Since there's is no mandatory retirement in city hall (...or Ontario...or much of Canada), there's theoretically no ceiling on the age of municipal servants. Pannachetti, for all we know, is a youthful 82-year-old. And an 82-year-old very probably could have job performance issues.
On the flip of that, would our elected officials select, say, a 22-year-old as the city manager, if the qualifications were there? Given such appointments are contentious already, a 22-year-old whiz kid city manager would absolutely have her ageist critics on council and in the public.
Not to say Hoy and Pennachetti should be critiqued based on what year each was born, since they are both obviously 50-somethings. But doesn't the mystery age seem very peculiar for such a public role?