Friday, February 4, 2011

Power Struggles in the Mayoral Palace

Strategic Arguments and Power Wars

Angry Dustup in Rob Ford's Office on Jan 21st. "Kouvalis is widely credited with orchestrating Ford’s convincing election win last fall but raised eyebrows with his willingness to discuss campaign dirty tricks. Pask, meanwhile, wasn’t involved in the election campaign and was brought back specifically to provide the kind of hands-on City Hall experience Kouvalis and other election staffers lacked. One friend of Pask said the tension was obvious between the two, with many of the novice chief of staff’s ideas prompting “eye-rolling” from the City Hall veteran."

Mayor's Inner Sanctum Off Limits to Public
" outgoing chief of staff Nick Kouvalis calling security to have co-worker Pask thrown out of the building."

Mayor's Damage Control  Ford’s outgoing chief of staff, Nick Kouvalis seems to have provoked the incident, vehemently disagreeing with Andrew Pask, who was Mayor Ford’s executive assistant while he was a councillor, and was in a policy and council liaison role. Kouvalis is known as the campaign manager architect of Rob Ford's mayoral election win, and is strangley proud of revealing some dirty tricks he used during the campaign, including calling the CFRB John Tory show anonymously to say things he hoped would keep him out of the mayoral race.

More on What Really Happened "Reporters asked if he might return when Remtulla starts. Kouvalis: “Maybe.” Pask was seen as the insider city hall veteran who often 'rolled his eyes' at some of Nick's suggestions on how to deal with council. We can likely extrapolate that Pask was a consensus builder while Kouvalis was more into demanding obedience.

Pask on the left, Kouvalis on the right.
... well, they are both gone now.

Ford Turns into Feather Smoothing Diplomat "After riding into office as a maverick surrounded by confident outsiders, Mayor Rob Ford is turning to a respected city hall veteran to help implement an aggressive agenda of deep budget cuts and contracting-out city services. Ford confirmed Friday his new chief of staff will be Amir Remtulla, who is leaving his job as senior director of public affairs for Molson Coors Canada."

I guess Amir will be the new 'damage control guy' for Mayor Ford, who still has his pitbull brother, and Councillor for his old ward, Doug Ford, to stir things up.

The Enigma That Is Rob Ford's New Chief of Staff "Enter upstage centre Amir Remtulla, returning to the municipal-politics fold after a decade as a Molson Coors executive, a Tanzanian immigrant from Flemingdon Park who rose through the ranks of Toronto and Ontario conservative politics." He will be "Stage-managing Fortress Ford". Amir is former Executive Assistant to Case Ootes and a staunch Mike Harris conservative supporter. However, even lefty Adam Vaughan has good things to say about him: "He gets the complexity of the place. … Amir's not one of those people to be a bull in a china shop. He understands it's about making the city work.”

- Tweet from goldsbie: Doug Ford preaches transparency, accountability: "It’s no one’s business what happens here or in the Mayor’s office..."

... Really? But scandals are so interesting to the public! And there are rumours Rob Ford is in hiding, with brother Doug and others doing all the talking to media.