Credits: ANDY DONATO/TORONTO SUN/QMI AGENCY
Customer service, the personal touch - one of the positive attributes which helped get him elected.
It's also something other councillors unfairly mock him for.
Because Ford is so determined to return EVERY call that he receives, it often leads to many phone calls in the car.
This is where he gets into trouble.
The amount of time it takes to return hundreds of phone calls a week subsequently leaves little time for other things - such as preparing for an announcement on an important trade mission to Chicago.
Last week a picture surfaced of the mayor reading a speech while on the Gardiner, though it remains unclear whether the car was stopped when the pic was snapped. The person who posted the picture vanished from Twitter, shortly after I, and others in the media, began retweeting it. No one had the chance to ask the shutterbug if it was him taking the picture, or someone in the passenger seat of his car. All we had was a tweet that claimed they were going 70 km/h when the picture was taken.
Ford had yet another mess on his hands.
He also had everyone chiming in on an issue his staff and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, has been dealing with for quite some time - getting him a driver.
The mayor is loath to spend taxpayers' money on anything that could be viewed as an extravagance - a personal driver, for example. And those on council who oppose everything the mayor does, may have decried a move to hire him a driver. But it would have been a one, or two day story, then everyone would have moved on.
Instead, month after month, there is some driving related incident the mayor gets himself into.
Many of those awkward moments could have been avoided, had someone been shuttling him about the city while he worked.
One such situation that I am quite familiar with, is the now infamous driveway ambush by CBC's warrior princess. That entire fiasco wouldn't have unfolded the way it did if a driver was waiting for the mayor outside his home to take him to City Hall that morning. The driver would have simply called the mayor, alerted him there was a plastic-sword-wielding crazy woman with a TV camera outside his house. The end result of course was the 9-1-1 call and a battle with yet another media outlet on what was or was not said on that call (for the record, he DID NOT use the "B" word when talking to the operators).
Just to drag the embarrassment out further, a group of lovely ladies dressed in warrior costumes later came to city hall to humiliate the mayor for being "afraid" of a plastic-sword wielding crazy woman.
There are the other headline grabbing incidents: A scuffle with a streetcar driver, the woman who claimed Ford gave her and her daughter the middle finger because they had chided him for driving and talking on his cellphone, a cyclist who alleged that he almost ran her over on Dundas street and the KFC video during his weight-loss challenge.
Most, if not all of those situations could have turned out so differently if there was a driver aboard the Ford mobile.
It's understandable that the mayor, like so many others, loves to drive himself. But the mayor, unlike most others, has such a high-profile and is easily recognizable to so many in the city. Anyone who sees him wants a picture of what he's doing, who he's with, how he's acting, what he's eating, what he's wearing, what he's drinking.
There was even a photo of him at Wal-Mart one evening doing some shopping, supposedly in his pyjamas. He told me at the time they were just an old (and ugly - my word) pair of track pants.
The point is Ford's a constant target for the "gotcha" moment. So knowing this, why not mitigate some of the damage by taking away the opportunities for anyone with a cell phone to catch you in the act?
Why allow yourself to endure hearing from the police, medical doctors, the media, the public that you're putting yourself and others in jeopardy by your actions?
There is no good answer to any of these questions. Even the most ardent Ford Nation supporter wouldn't begrudge the mayor, who is a very busy man, from hiring someone who can not only ensure his security, but also get him to his destination safely.
This is probably one of the rare moments where most agree the penny-pinching mayor should spend a few bucks.
So come on, Mr. Mayor, get in the car.