Why not act your age?

Seaway News - - Opinion - NICK SEE­BRUCH ni­cholas. see­[email protected] tc. tc

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

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