It was sent to me by a reader, a response to his email to Councillor Gignac about the cancellation of the Special Council meeting.
I am terribly disappointed in what she said. She appeared willing to stand up to the Mayor publicly at Council, sort of, on several issues especially about the downtown. One could see her biting her tongue wanting to lash back, frustrated at some of the Mayor's comments to her but not doing so. Obviously, well-trained in good manners.
Here are excerpts from exchange:
- "Apparently the Mayor has taken over all aspects of running Windsor. The recent setting and cancellation of a special council meeting re: the border issues an example of this. Why is there so much silence from the ward representatives about matters of this import?
No one can be the most correct every time, and likely the contrary is also the case. Maybe this is a reason why some would play it safe to avoid criticism or embarrassment. I would rather see a Councilor be active and if they are off the mark occasionally it should not be a major event if the record is one of integrity and service..."
And the reply:
- "You identified in your opening remarks an issue regarding the Mayor calling a special meeting then cancelling the same. The Mayor is the official "head of Council" and as such has the authority to call meetings, which he did. He has a tough time co-ordinating all councillors time tables then he must ensure the people presenting issues at these meetings can be in attendance. In the instance of this meeting we are told that was not possible. I have no reason to disbelieve that and appreciate not being called out for a meeting that isn't productive. The meeting is to be RE-SCHEDULED."
What is sad for me is that the Councillor does not seem to recognize how contemptuous the Mayor is of her and her colleagues.
What was the urgent need for the Special meeting? Why couldn't the presentation or whatever was to take place at this meeting not have taken place at a regular Council meeting? It has been done before with respect to the border.
I am certain that my reader was pleased to get the outline of how the Procedural Bylaw works on Special meetings from the Councillor. I would have thought however that the Mayor could have circulated a note to his colleagues saying that he is proposing to schedule a Special meeting on such and such a date to find out their availability BEFORE he announced it publicly. Isn't that how meetings are normally set up?
It is clear from her response that the Councillor had no idea that the meeting was going to be set up. It is also clear from her response that she also had no idea why it was cancelled or even what was on the agenda. She makes a big deal about it being "RESCHEDULED" but again has no idea when the meeting is going to take place again if it ever will be.
Clearly, there is no need for any meeting now since the Mayor held his Press Conference in which he was the star and in which no Councillor had a role. There is no need for a border meeting at this time because the DRIC Spring Garden issue has been revealed and the Mayor has been able to give his point of view without getting any direction from Council. After all, he is the sole Voice of Council remember.
I know that the Councillor feels the need to be supportive of the Mayor to maintain the façade of unity especially with respect to the border file. One has to support the "Team" after all by being a good team player.
By doing so, however, she not only makes a fool of herself and but also makes a mockery of her obligations under the Municipal Act.
Basically, if this is the attitude of one of the Councillors who at least tries on occasion and in public to maintain an independent position, then one has to write off this Council and hope for the best two years from now. The Mayor cannot be any more pleased.