Open letter to Mayor re Chamber of Commerce email

Background:  In February, a motion was passed at Council regarding a restructure study.  The Mayor and Councillor Keating were not happy at the time, Voices posted this at the time:

Following the motion, emails were sent  by Councillor Keating and the Mayor to the Chamber expressing displeasure with the Chamber representative speaking on favor of the study, details are here:

Email to Chamber:

From: Darrell Mussatto (Mayor)
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11:04 AM
To: ‘Louise Ranger’
Cc: Craig Keating (Councillor); Rod Clark (Councillor)
Subject: your delegation last evening
Hi Louise,
I have read Craig’s email and, while I agree with the points he makes, I’m also a little concerned about the lack of respect that the Chamber has shown me personally in this matter.
Every year I make myself open to the Chamber to support its events and its activities. I lead the charge on Council to ensure that the Chamber receives a tax deferral to make its operations possible. And I have co-operated with the Chamber – at great expense to my personal political capital – in leading the charge on crucial economic issues like the Low Level Road. It is with little hesitation that I say if I had not shown the leadership the expansion project would not have happened. Just ask Robin Silvester at Port Metro Vancouver.
So I’m more than a little shocked and a lot disappointed that you would not even give me the decency of a phone call or a conversation when you come before Council to support a proposal that would have such a profound impact on my community. Amalgamation is not a small thing. And you chose to simply leave me out – despite all the leadership I’ve shown on behalf of the Chamber and its issues.
I will certainly have to re-assess this relationship – if, on the basis of the above, you can say that we actually have one.
Please circulate this email to all of your Board of Directors. I hope you will have the decency to at least
do that.
Darrell Mussatto

Councillor Heywood subsequently brought forward a motion yesterday, detail here: item 28 on the Council agenda:

The video is available here: Item 28 about; 2.42 time

I urge you to watch the video, and commend Councillors Bell, Bookham and particularly Councillor Heywood for bringing all this forward and having a discussion with dignity and grace.

Councillor Heywood’s motion passed 4-3: Bell/Bookham/Clark/Heywood

Open Letter to Mayor Mussatto
Dear Mayor Mussatto:
Re Item 28 on Council Agenda Mar 31 and your response to the motion
I have watched the video from last night’s meeting and, although I recognize that this is an unfortunate situation you find yourself in, I must tell you how disappointed I am in your response to the motion.
Councillors Bell, Bookham and Heywood spoke eloquently and calmly to tell you their concerns about your email to the Chamber of Commerce.  They said that:
-intimidation and bullying when members of the public come forward is not ok
-the Mayor acts in the best interests of the community, not in his personal beliefs
-your statement that you would “reassess the relationship with the Chamber” is not ok
-implies that your support could be reassessed if you disagree
-this leads the public to be reluctant to come forward to express views freely
-you have to allow for disagreement
-this has done a disservice to anyone who has an interest in the decisions of Council
-your statement about “expense to your personal political capital” was not ok
-you seemed to take credit for the low road and port expansion -not ok
-people have to be free to disagree without being disrespectful
-this was inappropriate correspondence from the Mayor’s office
Your only response seemed to be that “amalgamation is a disaster always” and you support the Chamber. That response is not good enough – had you merely apologized this would probably die down.  Councillor Heywood stated that he brought the motion forward with regret.  It is a regrettable event, but it reinforces people’s views that you play favorites – as long as people agree with you all is fine.  This was not about amalgamation – it was about your dictatorial reaction to a citizen who spoke at the public input period, expressed an opinion with which you violently disagreed and subsequently threatened to use your mayoral power. 
Duties of a Mayor from the Community Charter are in part: To provide leadership to Council, and To reflect the will of Council.  The will of Council was clearly expressed to you when the restructure motion passed in February.
Toni Bolton

One response to “Open letter to Mayor re Chamber of Commerce email

  1. Rather hilarious that Mussatto, who never responds to e-mail from public, is in a snit about being ignored.

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