Archived columns and blog posts by Matt Elliott

Mayor Rob Ford's council attendance record still not-so-good

Since I don't have much to say about dodgy CNE food or the mayor taking on a six-time WWE Champion in an arm-wrestling contest, let's do some data analysis.

When I last looked at Mayor Rob Ford's attendance record at council, I called it “not-so-good.” At the time, it looked bad and was trending worse. Throughout 2012, the mayor was consistently missing more and more votes at city council meetings. That he was trying to coach a high school football team to a Metro Bowl win while simultaneously fending off three court challenges probably didn't help. Since that time, I've had some readers email in with requests for updated data.

So how's Ford doing these days? Well, still not great. But maybe a little better.

The mayor has missed 16.75 per cent of all recorded votes since this council term started in December 2010. That's up from the 14.8 per cent he had missed when I last looked at these numbers. His absent percentage is just above the council average of 15.51 per cent. Nearly two-thirds of councillors — 29 of them — have better attendance records than he does.

But there's a bright side. In 2012, the mayor had missed a full 25 per cent of votes leading up to council's summer break. This year, he's done a little better — missing just 19 per cent. He seems to have reversed the trend. (Ford's 2013 record is skewed by his missing a full day of council in July. He went to Winnipeg and Regina with his family. That meeting went for four days despite being scheduled for just two.)

But the mayor has a long way to go if he hopes to match the sterling attendance record of his former deputy mayor, Doug Holyday. Holyday missed just 0.83 per cent of council votes, doing better than any other councillor.

Others who missed less than five per cent of votes include Chair Frances Nunziata (2.17 per cent), Coun. Gord Perks (2.65 per cent), Coun. Mary-Margaret McMahon (4.17 per cent), Coun. Adam Vaughan (4.38 per cent) and Coun. Sarah Doucette (4.58 per cent).

At the other end of the spectrum, Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti (40.71 per cent) and Coun. Ron Moeser (48 per ent) have council's worst attendance records, but both have battled serious medical issues this term. Taking them out of the rankings, council's worst attendance records belong to Coun. John Filion (27.95 per cent), Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong (27.47 per cent), Coun. Mark Grimes (25.34 per cent), Coun. James Pasternak (24.99 per cent) and Coun. Michael Thompson (24.95 per cent).

Ford's attendance record does still look better than the late-term record of his predecessor, but due to a lack of data, a direct comparison isn't really possible yet.

This post was originally published at on 2013-08-23T00:00:00.000Z

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Matt Elliott

City Hall watcher, columnist and policy wonk in Toronto.
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