(Still not an April Fools joke)
Really?It's true (or at least it's allegations-that-have-been-made-to-police-by-multiple-witnesses-but-not-yet-proven-in-court). See Post #3 for details of how Rob Ford used taxpayer-funded office staff for personal errands, and why that's (obviously) a bad thing.
"The Mayor would call FICKEL to change light bulbs in the front lawn, change batteries
in his children's toys, buying cartons of cigarettes, bleach, laundry detergent and diet
coke for the Mayor's wife. The Mayor made these requests because FICKEL was his
"body man" at the time. Isaac SHIROKOFF worked in this capacity and with football
prior to FICKEL." (Project Brazen ITO p.110)
"Sometimes Mayor FORD would call NEJATIAN late at night for personal reasons. For
example: dry cleaning (Mayor FORD uses La Rose dry cleaners), change light bulbs
and helping his wife with the computer." (p. 135)
"TOWHEY would push back on Mayor FORD getting staffers to do his personal
errands. TOWHEY wanted Mayor FORD to hire a personal assistant to do these
errands and pay them out of his own pocket. Mayor FORD told his staffers that
TOWHEY had been fired and that everything was going to be fine." (p.140)
"FICKEL was on a date with a girl... and received a call from the Mayor. The Mayor wanted FICKEL to come and look at his wife's computer because it wasn't working. FICKEL noted that the Mayor sounded impaired when he called. FICKEL assumed he could fix it quickly so he went... After 15 minutes, the Mayor insisted that FICKEL's date come into the house because the Mayor thought it would impress her. FICKEL did not want to bring (her) inside because the house looked like it was falling apart and messy. There was heavy cigarette smoke and clothes everywhere in the house... Then the Mayor left the room and came back with a marihuana cigarette. The Mayor lit the marihuana cigarette, asked if anyone wanted any, and then proceeded to smoke it alone. FICKEL recognized the smell of the smoke to be marihuana. After approximately 10 minutes, FICKEL and (his date) were uncomfortable and left the house." (p.116)
Why should I care?Nobody says the job of Mayor is easy (in fact, many say it's far more difficult than the current incumbent makes it out to be). There's got to be some latitude for staff to help with personal items: Grab lunch for the mayor? Absolutely. Pick up his dry cleaning? Why not. Change light bulbs at his house? Uh, no. Pick up smokes for his wife? Wait, what?
Rob had the largest staff budget in the city. How much money could he have saved with fewer staff if they didn't have to spend a portion of their their time acting as the Ford family's manservants? It's too bad Rob didn't get them to come by and make gravy, because then the irony would be perfect.
How many Fords does it take to change a light bulb? None, apparently.