Seven months ago, the two women on Mayor Rob Ford’s 13-member executive committee both said they would quit at the end of the year if Ford didn’t start to seek consensus and to think more strategically.
Coun. Jaye Robinson and Coun. Michelle Berardinetti have now made their decisions: Robinson will seek reappointment to the powerful cabinet-like committee; Berardinetti will not.
Berardinetti (Ward 35, Scarborough Southwest) said she made her decision in part because she wants to be liberated from intense vote-whipping pressure from Ford’s staff. At times, she said, she has been expected to vote with Ford on even minor issues.
Robinson (Ward 25, Don Valley West), a rookie from a ward Ford carried narrowly, said she made the “tough decision” to stay on the committee because the prominent perch will allow her to be more effective as a “moderating influence,” because she wants to promote diversity, and because Ford has become more conciliatory in recent months — though she said “there’s still a long way to go.”
Berardinetti’s departure means that Ford’s inner circle loses one of its least conservative members. Berardinetti and Robinson worked to weaken some of Ford’s proposed budget cuts.