Vaughan councillors ask embattled mayor to resign
The mayor of Vaughan says she will not resign even though eight of her peers on city council formally asked her to step down Monday.
Eight members of council told reporters in a Monday afternoon news conference that Linda Jackson is an "absent mayor" who fails to attend meetings. They also accused her of costing residents a ton of money through various litigation she has been involved in and through her expense budget -- despite an audit clearing her of any misspending.
Coun. Allan Sheffman told reporters that the city needs new leadership.
"We're calling for her to resign for her failure to provide leadership and her lack of integrity," he said. "She has shamed the people of Vaughan."
While Jackson agreed that changes need to be made, she told reporters late Monday afternoon that the city needs to work together, not pick each other apart.
"I think it's very unfortunate," she said. "I think its truly a political circus. We have much bigger and better things to do. Despite what my colleagues did today, I'm still willing to work with them."
Councillors also said they had a plan to run the city without Jackson. They announced a 10-point plan to restore prosperity to the city. It includes a commitment to moving forward with the Spadina subway extension and plans for a new hospital in Vaughan. They also promised a reevaluation of councillors' expense policies.
"We need leadership and I think what's happening right now in Vaughan for the last little while since the election is that we haven't had the leadership that we needed to move us forward," Coun. Sandra Yeung Racco told CTV Toronto earlier Monday.
"We have so many good projects that (are) going on but yet there's no one to really lead us," she continued. "We are leading ourselves right now."
Jackson has been targeted by her peers on council who accuse her of mismanaging her expense account and violating election bylaws.
An audit on Jackson's expenses cleared the mayor of any wrongdoing and concluded that it complied with the city's rules. However, one councillor questioned the ruling, noting that Jackson spent thousands of dollars on meals with her assistant that included alcohol -- all on the taxpayers' tab.
Jackson has had a tough tenure since she was elected in November, 2006. Her election was challenged by Vaughan's previous mayor Michael Di Biase.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Naomi Parness