Deputy Mayor says he’s satisfied with Ford’s response
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Sunday, November 3, 2013 7:52PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, November 3, 2013 8:00PM EST
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly says he’s satisfied with how Mayor Rob Ford addressed concerns about the controversies swirling around him Sunday.
“He addressed some of the concerns that had been raised by myself on behalf of some of my colleagues in our private conversation yesterday and he made a personal commitment to behave himself going forward. I was delighted to hear that,” Kelly told CP24 Sunday afternoon.
Kelly made the comments after Mayor Rob Ford took to the airwaves on his weekly radio show to make the most heartfelt public address to date about his behaviour and allegations that he appears to use drugs in a video obtained by police.
“I am not perfect. I have made mistakes and all I can do right now is apologize for the mistakes,” Ford told listeners Sunday.
He didn’t specify what he was apologizing for, but he acknowledged that he has appeared drunk in public on several occasions, such as this year’s Taste of the Danforth Festival and on St. Patrick’s Day last year.
He also committed to making changes in his life – most notably to getting a driver – a move Kelly said shows that the mayor is committed to ‘more than just rhetoric.’
“There was a cloud of suspicion out there over the mayor’s behaviour when he was driving himself around,” Kelly said. “I think that’s a very important illustration specifically of his commitment to be a better person and through that to do a better job and I’m willing to give him the time to do that.”
Ford’s radio announcement Friday followed a private meeting with Kelly on Saturday. The two met together for about an hour at the Scarborough Civic Centre where Kelly relayed the concerns of other councillors who had asked him to speak with the mayor.
While Kelly wouldn’t say exactly what was said in the meeting, he said the mayor “understood the texture of that conversation.”
“The issues were addressed. I think he clearly understood them and their implications,” Kelly said.
While Kelly said the mayor should be given a second chance, he also said he must now be held to his own standards moving forward.
“I think that he has to be aware that he’s going to be held to the standard that he’s set and that if there are any transgressions – if he falls back to the old ways – that there will not be the potential for forgiveness that’s out there right now,” Kelly said.
Asked why the mayor would not answer specific question about drug use, Kelly said Ford needs space to prove that he can change his behaviour.
“I think we should take one step back and judge him by his performance going forward. That’s what I’m willing to do and I’m urging my colleagues on council to do that,” Kelly said. “Let’s test this man on his performance going forward.”
Kelly has been deputy mayor since August, when he took over the role from former deputy mayor Doug Holyday, who left city council to take up a seat as a Progressive Conservative member of the provincial legislature.