Say it isn’t so. Council fires the ombudsman, who cost the city and us taxpayers nothing, and votes to pay for private service.
Why? Not because the ombudsman found the city was found guilty of gross inappropriate action, but because councillors were upset that they were described, rightly, many citizens believe, to have been obstructive and uncooperative in the investigative work carried out by the ombudsman, being the worst in the province apparently.
So they have gotten even, although at our expense. Perhaps they should be asked to pay for the private oversight service out of their slush funds. But wait, that is our money, too.
It would seem our local elected unworthies, overseeing a city ranked 30 out of 30 in a national survey last year of citizen satisfaction of local government, have shot themselves in their collective foot once again.
How can this be possible? Is there some sort of brain-deadening swamp gas coming up from Junction Creek underneath Tom Davies Square that causes these dumb decisions to be made?
Ward 10 Coun. Frances Caldarelli, who is normally quite reasonable, noted the ombudsman was “unbelievably rude,” so had to go and be replaced by someone likely to be less rude, as they are going to be paid by council and normally you are not rude to someone who pays you.
Ward 9 Coun. Doug Craig was the only ward councillor to support the ombudsman.
But he did not have the courage of his convictions and voted to dispense with the ombudsman’s services, along with the rest of council, except the mayor, who was “not impressed” with the motion.
I would suspect that most of us ordinary taxpaying citizens were less than impressed as well, but unfortunately we are getting used to this sort of thing, and are always waiting for the next debacle.