Monday, September 28, 2009

Mammo Mia Mayor: Will Giorgio run? Mammoliti first out the gate in race for city's top job

How about Mayor Mammo?

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti yesterday became the first member of Mayor David Miller's hand-picked executive committee to say he's interested in running for Toronto's top municipal job in the November 2010 election.

"There are people who are asking, and when you get the phone calls and you take a look at the types of people that are asking you to run, you do wonder whether it's time," he said yesterday. "I guess now is the opportunity to think about this."

Mammoliti has been a full-time politician since voters sent him to Queen's Park in 1990 to serve as a member of former NDP premier Bob Rae's government as a representative for Yorkview.

The 48-year-old councillor said if he runs, his platform will focus on getting tough on crime and gangs, helping seniors, and restoring services to the suburbs.

He also said it's "no secret" he would take the city in a different direction than Miller, shifting it to the "right, somewhat."

Though he hasn't talked to the mayor in the past few days, Mammoliti believes Miller would be supportive.

In addition to using city resources to clear seniors' driveways of snow to help keep them in their homes longer, Mammoliti said he'd also review "every single" city program to evaluate its usefulness and cost.

But Mammoliti, who changed his name from George to Giorgio in 2002, is no stranger to controversy.

While at Queen's Park in 1994, he and 11 other NDP MPPs voted against their own government's plan to extend spousal insurance benefits to same-sex couples.

During debate, Mammoliti was heckled in legislature for saying homosexuals made unfit parents, were more susceptible to AIDS, and had bizarre sexual habits, like electric torture, whipping, and urination.

In 2000, Mammoliti began trapping cats which were messing up the gardens of his constituents.

In 1999, he opposed the 1,000-metre nude beach at Hanlan's Point, calling it a "sex fest." He unbuttoned his shirt during a city council meeting in an attempt to prove how inappropriate the idea was.

In 2007, Mammoliti half-heartedly suggested turning the Toronto Islands into a red-light district full of massage parlours and casinos.

Recently, too, he suggested calling in the army to tackle the gang problems in certain Toronto neighbourhoods.


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