Coun­cil ‘dys­func­tion’ de­bated

Emo­tions again run high in Clarke’s Beach; mayor tar­get­ted for crit­i­cism


It’s 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 19, and about two dozen peo­ple are stand­ing in the Clarke’s Beach town of­fice front en­try­way, wait­ing to be al­lowed into the coun­cil cham­ber.

This is the first town coun­cil meet­ing since the elected of­fi­cials were la­belled Canada’s most dys­func­tional mu­nic­i­pal­ity by Maclean’s mag­a­zine.

On the agenda, third from last, is an item la­beled “Maclean’s mag­a­zine ar­ti­cle,” submitted by deputy mayor Kevin Hussey.

But first, coun­cil at­tends to their an­nual Christ­mas din­ner. They de­cide that yes, they will all meet at an un­de­ter­mined lo­ca­tion for an in­for­mal din­ner with their fel­low coun­cil­lors.

It all seems cor­dial enough, with no in­di­ca­tion that the coun­cil has been la­belled the coun­try’s most trou­bled mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Me­dia to blame

Then Hussey is given the floor, and asks the ques­tion of his fel­low coun­cil­lors: “are we dys­func­tional?”

There is a pause, and the once quiet gallery is now the source of much rustling, as peo­ple shift in their seats, some mut­ter­ing to their neigh­bour. They quiet down, and there is a pause.

“I’m not sure we de­serve it, but we got it,” said Hussey, who said he doesn’t think the coun­cil is dys­func­tional.

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