Viewpoint: Publicity hound calls it wrong

Limo-service operator/self-promoter and now mayoral candidate predicts Miller will resign in 20 minutes

By Frank Touby – 

Self-promoter J. P. Pampena’s lust to get his name in the media spurred a desperate attempt March 10 to second guess Mayor David Miller’s planned and well-hyped announcement. The limo company operator and occasional pubic relations flak was among the earliest to throw his fedora into the mayoral race. On the rounded heels of Miller’s previous-day announcement that he had an important announcement to make at 9:30 a.m. March 10, Pampena popped into the spotlight at 9:10 a.m. to predict via email that Miller will pack it in as mayor and shift the burden to Joe Pants, the deputy mayor.

Pampena, who is visually impaired, is campaigning as the Man with the Vision. His email grandly predicted this: “David Miller will be announcing his early retirement this morning as Mayor of Toronto and that he will be turning over the keys to the city to his deputy mayor, Joe Pantalone.” Not a bad guess, after all. The talk-show jocks were all over that angle and were speculating that the carbon-tax gang of bankers or perhaps a railroad-fanciers’ club had hired the blond liability away from city hall.

If his prediction turned out right, J. P. would be able to tout his accuracy and city-hall savvy. If it turned out the way it did, nobody would notice that either. It fact, as it turned out, that wasn’t at all what Mayor Dumbo was going to say. As we’ve sadly come to realize, Miller is just a blow hard. Thus it was again on the morn of his greatly anticipated announcement.

Miller waxed gloriously at how the creative geniuses at city hall had slashed our taxes, all the while reminding us that a great city doesn’t come free. There were no tax cuts. There will be tax hikes. The difference is that instead of 4% increases for homeowners, the hike will be 2.9%. That, he claimed, came from a gruelingly hard grind by the geniuses who accompany Miller in city government. In reality, it came from a nearly snowless winter that saved millions.

Like everything Miller touches lately, this is all hype and the city continues to decline.