No need for deputy mayor: Boushy
We may be asked to consider the creation of the deputy-mayor, a position which necessarily leaves us open to putting in place a new salary structure now or in the future. A new expense at a time when we are swamped with extensive new costs for the taxpayers.
We have seen the tremendous burden put on our citizens by new costs to punish the mayor and restrict him from performing his duties as chief executive of the City of Sarnia, a position he has ably performed without a deputy for over 28 years. My observation in my day-to-day exchanges with many of our citizens is that he most assuredly continues to have that large support.
There are two simple questions I would like to examine. • Do we need the appointment of a deputy mayor?; • and, if so, how will that be determined?
I clearly do not believe that we need a deputy mayor, and for the following reasons.
The unnecessary cost of creating a position that we have done without for years. When the city hall was built (1963-64) the mayor was Henry Ross and the city manager was Bob Given. I served on this council. We were in charge of more department than we have now – the Sarnia Health Department, Social Services, Marshall Gowland Manor, Persons on Social Assistance, and one floor of the city hall for the Assessment Department. All of this was handled without a deputy mayor and never was a deputy mayor considered until the conflict with the present city manager and our mayor.
Let’s not spend more of the taxpayer’s money on a deputy mayor to add only to more conflict. Forget new positions, adding walls and barriers, stripping away the keys to enter his office, a necessary tool to his busy job as the chief executive.
Secondly, if the deputy mayor position is to be created, what is the fair and democratic way that should be followed? Clearly, the only democratic process is to have a simple referendum question added to the 2018 election, and let the citizens of Sarnia decide. This is the best method of avoid some of the friction and conflict.
It’s important to note the present method undertaken by some members of council leaves itself open to a conflict of interest being quite obvious and contrary to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
A deputy mayor stands to gain now or in the future increased remuneration – a clear conflict.
An open and fair referendum avoids all such conflicts.
The current practice to having a council person stand in for our mayor when he is able to is a practice that works well and gives everybody a chance to handle the mayor’s position without creating salary for a deputy mayor.
Let’s not go down that road. Dave Boushy City/County Councillor