Credits: REUTERS/MARK BLINCH
"I think I can run this city a damn sight better than the current mayor, and I'd abide by the law while doing it," City Councillor Shelley Carroll said Friday.
Carroll joins Mayor Rob Ford as a declared candidate in a byelection that is by no means a certainty. City council will have to decide whether to hold a vote or appoint an interim mayor if and when Ford is removed from office, per a judge's order Monday.
But the same judge who gave Ford the boot from office for a conflict of interest clarified his ruling Friday and said the mayor is, in fact, eligible to run again before the current mayoral term is up - he would not have to wait until 2014.
Ford vowed to be first with his name on the ballot if there is to be a byelection.
Carroll made it clear she was moving now because she's furious at the way the beleaguered mayor -- currently awaiting a decision in a $6-million libel trail, an audit into his campaign finances, a hearing Wednesday to try and stay his conflict-of-interest removal order and a January appeal of that ruling -- handled himself at a council meeting Thursday night.
Ford and his brother Councillor Doug Ford, got in a heated dispute with Councillor Adam Vaughan -- another potential mayoral challenger -- with the mayor calling Vaughan a liar while his brother yelled at other councillors to "sit down and shut up."
"When his ignorance gets him in trouble, his response is to lunge across the room fists cocked," Carroll said of the mayor. "His brother did ... last night they showed us ... that the two of them have morphed into one bullying force."
But Doug Ford blamed Vaughan for the hostilities.
"I think council's dysfunctional," he said. "And Shelley Carroll gets on that bully pulpit...
"Rob and I have taken it for three days, insults and threats that they're running, and enough was enough."
Vaughan said he barely raised his voice during the confrontation and said he still hasn't decided whether to run for mayor or not.
"At this point, with Ford's dismal showing in the polls, you could probably run 10 candidates and he'd end up back of the pack," Vaughan said.
The Fords are not without supporters, though. Pro-Ford websites such as respectdemocracy.ca and wesupportford.ca have popped up, and while some of his council allies have wavered, not all have abandoned him.
"He was elected to do a job and I think it would be fair for him to fulfil a four-year mandate," Councillor Norm Kelly said.
-- With files from Maryam Shah