Are two heads better than none? Ideas on replacing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford faces media after learning a judge's decision to grant him a stay while he appeals an earlier …

If Rob Ford loses his appeal to remain mayor of Toronto, what would you think of two co-mayors holding the spot until the 2014 election?

That is one of the latest solutions raised at city hall, where rumblings continue about how the city would proceed should Ford be ousted from office sometime in thee new year.

You will recall that Ford won his bid to stay on as mayor until he has appealed a court ruling that he broke conflict of interest laws by participating in a debate over whether he should be forced to pay back questionable donations.

Ford slipped out of town earlier this week to take a much-needed vacation before his appeal process begins on Jan. 7. But that hasn't stopped the city from buzzing.

Although most attention has turned from his crumbling career to the city's crumbling Gardiner Expressway.

[ Related: Rob Ford 'very glad' to keep Toronto mayoralty for now ]

The Toronto Star reports that Ford's office was left in the dark over the full extent to the concern surrounding the elevated expressway. And, as the National Post reports, there is talk of privatizing the highway or possibly imposing tolls.

Ford has been outspokenly opposed to tolls on other Toronto highways, so one would easily infer his response to such suggestions.

Of course, if he loses his appeal, that opinion would be moot.

The Toronto Star's Daniel Dale has a handy breakdown on the four points Ford's lawyer will argue at his appeal. On most points, Alan Lenczner's argument is that Justice Charles Hackland erred in the way he made various conclusions that led to the decision.

Should the three-judge Divisional Court panel reject the appeal, council will be tasked with finding a replacement for Ford until the 2014 municipal election.

[ Related: Rob Ford apparently very happy about keeping his job ]

The Toronto Sun's Don Peat has been taking the temperature of various Toronto councillors and drummed up a number of interesting possibilities:

  • TTC chairman Karen Stintz says Ford should be given a chance to reclaim his seat in a byelection.
  • Coun. Josh Matlow also supports a byelection unless an appropriate caretaker mayor comes forward. He floated the names of former Ontario PC leader John Tory and former mayor David Crombie as examples.
  • Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti doesn't want a byelection and says Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday should lead.
  • Coun. Paula Fletcher raised the idea of appointing co-mayors as a way to appease both sides of the split council.

Fletcher says the idea of co-mayors could be the outside-the-box idea necessary to succeed, but it is also likely to cause as much trouble as it avoids.

On one hand, two heads are better than one. On the other, we haven't been doing any worse without a mayor at all.