Why not act your age?
I don’t know if it is because we are in election season or not, but some members of Cornwall City Council seemed to have forgotten that they are expected to lead by example.
The example that at least three councillors showed this past week is not one that I would be proud of.
Political points and a political edge are always something that politicians are looking for, but if you are willing to throw respect out the window, you are part of the reason why voters lose confidence in their elected officials.
At the last Cornwall City Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 24 three Cornwall City Councillors unfairly lashed out at the meeting chair, Mayor Leslie O’shaughnessy.
You might feel that the Mayor is not doing enough on files like the Cornwall Harbour, but to tell him to “get off his ass and show some leadership” in the middle of a meeting he is sharing on live television is not the way to express that.
Show some respect if not for the man, then for the office he holds and act in a way befitting your own office as a City Councillor. Also, if any councillor truly feels that enough is not being done on any file, then they can put forward a motion and ask their colleagues for support for what they want done. A councillor has the same power as the Mayor to put forward motions and if you don’t have confidence enough in your ideas to bring them forward to a vote, then don’t complain.
If councillors want to show the voters that they are capable of strong leadership, then what I saw Monday night did not do that.
It is the Mayor’s responsibility to manage debate in council meetings to ensure that they run smoothly. If a councillor is out of order or off topic then it is the Mayor’s responsibility to reign them in. This was the case at Monday’s meeting.
These three councillors were all off topic at multiple points throughout the meeting. The Mayor attempted to keep the debate focused on the matter at hand, in this case Big Ben Ski Centre, and instead, one councillor told him, and I’m going to paraphrase, to keep his mouth closed.
The meeting chair needs to be respected. He’s the referee for the debate, and it is his job to keep the meeting on track, if he isn’t doing that or doing it fairly, then sure, have a go at him, but Mayor O’shaughnessy was managing the meeting well and I applaud him for not snapping back at this particular councillor who was definitely out of line.
If you demand respect then show it, it is that simple. Every councillor should think about themselves in that chair at the head table and how they would expect to be treated.
Real leaders lift others up and set an example. Those who will fail as leaders work to tear down those around them and degrade themselves by using childish name calling and having public temper tantrums.
What do you think readers? What kind of behaviour do you expect from your elected officials? Email me a Letter to the Editor at nicholas. see[email protected] tc. tc