Code of Conduct not followed in city council meeting
An extreme breach of the amended Code of Conduct was carried out during the Oct. 2 public council meeting in Sarnia when two councillors inappropriately challenged Mayor Mike Bradley’s expert chairing skills.
Those in the public gallery were shocked to witness such disgusting behaviour by those whose salaries we pay. You could hear the gasps of disbelief circulate the gallery.
The meeting took six hours instead of the usual two. This is because council, city clerk, and city manager made changes to the agenda at the last minute, without conferring with the mayor as they are supposed to do.
There were four planned delegations, and an awards ceremony and a special developers’ presentation for Bright’s Grove were added without anyone knowing until the actual meeting.
In my opinion, this was done intentionally to annoy the mayor. It was obvious to all in attendance that they were trying to goad him into an argument, right from the start of this meeting. The mayor is well aware of the importance of topics that need to have their own meeting off site, but council forged ahead; in my opinion, they had an agenda here.
The mayor tried several times, very respectfully, to keep the speakers on track time-wise but it made no difference.
While the planning presentation was still in progress, a councillor instigated the ruckus that followed. She had the audacity to challenge the mayor for mentioning keeping the meeting on schedule, time-wise, three times. When the mayor alluded to the fact this wouldn’t have happened if the clerk and council had sought his opinion before adding to the agenda, as is required by the bylaws, this caused another councillor to erupt disgracefully. He said the mayor should leave his chair and allow someone else to run the meeting.
It was clear to everyone in the gallery that this whole scenario was another “bait-and-collusion” setup. This didn’t work; the mayor didn’t take the bait. He calmly and professionally retained his manner and spoke only the facts, making sure all those present, and watching on TV, would know the truth.
Now that all city council meetings are live-streamed by COGECO TV, everyone can watch everything and see the behaviour of the two councillors in question.
Why doesn’t the amended Code of Conduct apply to any of the councillors? This is not the first time something like this has happened.
What will it take for the integrity commissioner to follow the correct protocol, without bias, and for which we pay him a retainer and a hefty hourly rate?
What is the point of having a Code of Conduct if councillors do not adhere to it and always blame someone else for their actions?
These councillors should be forced to resign immediately. Margaret Bird Bright’s Grove