Ward 3 Coun. Claude Berthiaume also said he thinks the ruling was at least in part a reaction to council’s Feb. 12 decision to fire Marin as the city’s closer-door meeting investigator.
“Technically, it does sound like we did something wrong, and I’m willing to admit that,” Berthiaume said Feb. 19. “But to me, it was only a technical thing they found we did wrong.”
An investigator working for Marin filed a report Feb. 14 that concluded council violated the Municipal Act when they voted in a closed-door meeting in June 2012 to direct the mayor, three councillors and the city’s top human resources manager to begin contract negotiations with Auditor General Brian Bigger.
Michelle Bird wrote that they erred by including three councillors in the resolution. Under the Act, only people considered officers of the corporation can receive direction in a closed-door meeting.
And normally, city councillors are not considered to be officers. While there are no penalties for violating the Act, Berthiaume said he thinks Marin filed that report as a way to again embarrass council.
“I just think it’s kind of odd,” he said. “Usually they send people up to do interviews, but nothing like that was done. It was like he was just getting rid of everything.”
Ward 8 Coun. Fabio Belli said he and the rest of council rely on city staff to make sure they’re following the rules. He said it was only logical to direct a smaller group to handle Bigger’s contract.
“At the end of the day, I’m not sure if you want all of council negotiating a contract with the auditor general,” Belli said. “That’s why we created the subcommittee.”