@Ward18AnaBailao, I’ll happily spring for a driver | #TOpoli

Bailao

Let’s be absolutely clear: Councillor Bailao is entitled to the presumption of innocence and to her day in court.

I can’t really add much to Ed Keenan’s take at the Grid. It’s an admirable blend of compassion, principle, and good sense, and it’s all the more worthwhile for its clear non-partisan stance. 

The only observation I’d want to make is this: here we have a terrific example of why we use public resources to advance the public good. Yes, I’m talking about taxes. 

Political life isn’t for everyone. The impacts on your personal and private life are probably more than most people can handle. You’re on call 24/7, you’re in a fishbowl, everything you say and do is subject to scrutiny, parsing, misinterpretation, vilification and analysis that would drive most people to distraction. Regardless of whether we agree with them, we can recognize and respect those who serve for their commitment and their willingness to endure that. 

We can recognize that the job doesn’t end at 5 p.m., that there are community gatherings, fundraisers, public events and evening commitments that demand your presence, and we can allow that being social is part of the job. Hell, I won’t even begrudge you the occasional drink or two. 

And if you’re busy and you need to read staff reports or briefing papers on your way to work in the morning, I can understand that too.

That’s why I have no problem with my tax money paying for a driver, whether it’s for Rob Ford, Ana Bailao, or anyone else. No, really. I don’t care if you’re right or left or whatever. Public resources for the public good. If it’s in the cause of public safety, if it helps you do your job and /or keeps you from reading behind the wheel or drinking and driving, I’m OK with it. 

Get a driver. No one will think any less of you.

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