Code of Con­duct not fol­lowed in city coun­cil meet­ing

The Observer (Sarnia) - - OPINION -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.