I attended the Feb. 12 council meeting and have since viewed the video on the city’s website. I am disgusted with the unprofessional behaviour and antics displayed by some of our councillors. Here are my observations:
Near the end of the meeting, our mayor raised the matter of the auditor general report previously requested by council.
Councillors Landry-Altmann, Kett, Barbeau and Rivest all had a comment for wanting a heads-up email in advance of the meeting. In addition, these four councillors complained about our mayor raising this matter “at the last minute,” “at the end of the meeting,” “at the eleventh hour.”
Landry-Altmann accused our mayor of an attack. When viewing the video, I saw another councillor scold our mayor then “wink” to the councillor across the floor, as to say, I told her.
Twenty minutes before the end of the meeting, the mayor put forth a notice of motion relating to the OLG and the city’s wants/not wants.
Kett’s out-of-order rant was embarrassing. It is obvious he doesn’t know the purpose of a notice of motion. This is put forth when an issue is “so important that membership has the right to know beforehand what they are going to be presented at the meeting.”
Perhaps a session should be conducted for the councillors to be trained and educated on meeting rules of order. Kett said the mayor’s notice was “premature.” Fifteen minutes before the end of the meeting, Berthiaume put forth his notice of motion regarding our new closed-door meeting investigator.
Comments supporting this apparent “surprise” motion lacked conviction and credibility. Thankfully, this speed-of-light discussion was unusually void of Kett’s spontaneous outbursts and Landry-Altmann’s unprofessional rants and snide comments.
Finding Amberley Gavel via Google is both laughable and disconcerting when heard at a council meeting. This firm has conducted only about 50 closed-door meeting investigations in the past five years, compared to the Ombudsman, who has conducted 128 meeting investigations over a much shorter period of about one and a half years.
Landry-Altmann said the ombudsman is the chosen closed-door meeting investigator of less than 50 per cent of Ontario municipalities (190 of 444 for 43 per cent).
She seems to have overlooked the fact that Amberley Gavel serves only 28 per cent of municipalities (129 of 444) with the other 29 per cent served by a handful of other firms.
Not a single councillor mentioned any of the other alternatives to Amberley Gavel that already handle the other 125 of Ontario’s 444 municipalities.
Given the seemingly very late timing of this motion, it is dumfounding that that not a single councillor made comments. Even Kett seemingly understood this notice of motion. Have we found new potential actors for our local theatre guild?
It’s a sad day when council meetings are reduced to winks, attacks, rants acting and Google. No Oscars here.
I have emailed Amberley Gavel three times and have telephoned and left a message three times, but have yet to receive any acknowledgement. How do we communicate with our new closed-door meeting investigator?
Perhaps they have not officially been appointed, but any responsible business would acknowledge their prospective clients.
As a taxpayer, I expect council will give us the opportunity to feed Amberley Gavel’s pockets going forward. I do feel for those taxpayers who can’t afford to contribute to the Amberley Gavel fund.
What do we do now?