Interview #7: Toronto, ON Councilor Shelley Carroll

No one is better equipped to give us the director’s commentary on the Toronto city council meeting than longtime councilor and Twitter powerhouse Shelley Carroll.

She told me the scoop on Rob Ford, council drama, and her fantasy hockey team.

Q: How many people usually show up to watch? And follow-up question: how many moose usually show up?

A: It’s been a while since we’ve had a moose. In terms of how many “municipal nerds” are there–

Q: Your phrase, not mine.

A: We have a lot of bloggers–the councilors call them Twitterati. There’s about a dozen of them. If we’re doing something with taxis or Uber, there’s 500-600 people in there. The lowest it ever gets is around 50-70 people.

Q: You are the deputy speaker. I saw what the speaker does and it looks exhausting. What does the deputy speaker do?

A: In my case the deputy speaker doesn’t do a whole heck of a lot.

Q: Nice!

A: The speaker you saw is very, very possessive about being in that chair. She had a rough time during the Rob Ford years. She asked to be speaker again under a new mayor and it was a tough vote. She almost didn’t make it. She is doing a pretty good job with a pretty crazy council.  But I’m lucky if I get to be in the chair ten minutes a day.

scarroll
Toronto, ON Councilor Shelley Carroll

Q: Oh boy, you mentioned He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Obviously the Rob Ford scandal was a tough time for everyone–except late night comedians. After the crack-smoking news got out, were council meetings more hostile?

A: Definitely. Oftentimes he wan’t the most hostile force in the room. His brother was.

Q: When the council was debating what to do with Rob Ford, one reporter tweeted this:

Is that true?

A: Yeah. By the time we were taking his powers away, it was petty on all sides. I’ve been in office since 2003. That two weeks leading up to taking Rob’s powers away were the most “together” council has ever been. He was just completely humiliating us. That was right after he said the horrible thing about his wife to the media.

Q: I saw the video, yes.

A:  I spent a lot of time on Twitter inoculating myself from their bullying.  “Don’t mess with me or I’ll tweet it!”

Q: Are there any councilors you do not like? You don’t have to name–

A: Giorgio Mammoliti.

Q: Noted. Now, suppose the Montreal city council challenged you to a game of hockey. Which five Toronto city councilors would you pick for your team?

A: Oddly, I probably would take Giorgio Mammoliti. He would throw them for a loop the whole time.

SAMPLE

We’d probably match them wit for wit, so we’d have to take Gord Perks.

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I would take Janet Davis. Councilor Davis is obsessed with reading every word of every report. She would read about a year’s worth of every agenda in the Montreal council. She would lay waste to them.

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We’d take Josh Matlow because he’s a part-time Montrealer and he would beat them on their own level.

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My one more pick, I would take Joe Cressy. He’s just the youngest and most nimble person on council. So he would whip their ass athletically.

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Q: I’m a bit surprised that a Canadian just said “ass,” but I’ll let it slide.


Follow Councilor Shelley Carroll on Twitter: @shelleycarroll

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3 thoughts on “Interview #7: Toronto, ON Councilor Shelley Carroll

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