A mayor we can laugh with… Hey, it's a start

The good news — for all concerned — is that Mike Savage is not Brad Pitt.

The better news is that he isn’t Bruce Banman either.

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Banman is the beleaguered mayor of Abbotsford, the currently virally — not to forget bacterially — in-the-news B.C. community where city officials recently scattered chicken manure around a homeless encampment to convince campers to de-camp. Banman has been apologizing ever since.

The even better news is that Savage also isn’t — heavens forefend — Rob Ford, the buffoonish, tragicomic mayor of Toronto.

The ongoing, never-ending Niagara-Falls-like spillover after Ford’s carefully parsed non-response to that seen-but-not-yet-acquired video of him allegedly smoking crack cocaine — the still from the video that appears to show the mayor hanging with a young man who was later murdered in a house that turns out to have been the site of a recent armed home invasion; the published allegations Doug Ford, the mayor’s brother, closest confidant and fellow Toronto city councilor, was once a major hash dealer; the mayor’s many and various senior aides, all fired or resigned, at least one after urging his boss to go into rehab; the mayor’s own sweaty, what-me-worry smile before turning and running from the cameras — has conspired to make Toronto the favourite city of stand-up comedians everywhere.

Compare Mayor Ford’s non-video video with our own Mike Savage’s charming I-am-not-Brad-Pitt-but-people-confuse-us YouTube star turn last week. “Brad Pitt starred in Oceans 11,” Savage deadpans. “I used to play in the ocean when I was 11.” “I know what you’re thinking,” he notes as the camera follows him. “But the camera adds 10 pounds — and we’re using a lot of cameras.”

The video is part of a campaign to generate votes for Halifax in a paint company promotion in which the winners among 100 competing communities from across North America earn a modest mainstreet makeover.

A fun video is no substitute for political leadership or vision, of course. And the jury is still out on whether Savage will ever show those.

But… after years of enduring a mayor whose exploits — can you say concertgate, the occupy eviction, the infamous story of his friend’s estate? — were cringe-worthy, it’s comforting to finally at least have a mayor we can laugh with.

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Copyright 2013 Stephen Kimber, Website

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