Letter sent to the Editor, North Shore News today – not yet published:
Editor, NS News:
Many years ago my daughter wrote a Letter to the Editor regarding changes that city hall was planning to make to The Quarry (now known as Greenwood Park). A couple of days after her letter was published there was a knock on our front door. It was (then) Councillor Stella Jo Dean who had come to talk to the 9 year old author of the letter. Needless to say, our household was so impressed we voted for Councillor Dean every election until her retirement.
Ten years ago I wrote a very uncomplimentary letter to (then) Mayor Barbara Sharp. I was very angry and disillusioned by a council vote that went against something which a majority of our large neighbourhood knew would alleviate growing trafffic problems. I was told by someone working at city hall that nothing we could have said would have changed the outcome — “It was a political decision.”
A few days after I sent my scathing letter , I received a reply from Mayor Sharp. While she obviously didn’t think too highly of me either, she did take time to respond.
Forward to present day:–
Ten seconds after the October 5 council meeting was called to order, Councillor Clark raised a Point of Privilege in which he asked Mayor Mussatto and Councillor Keating to step down until a proven Conflict of Interest was cleared. An accepted method of dealing with a Point of Privilege is to halt the meeting immediately, hear the P of P, take it to a satisfactory conclusion and then proceed with the meeting. Mayor Mussatto chose to completely ignore Councillor Clark’s statement and, without a word, immediately moved on to the next agenda item. City staff has since deemed this the chair’s right to do so.
Everyone I have talked to has been astounded by the Mayor’s reaction. “Coverup, Obviously Guilty” and “Utter Foolishness” are the opinions expressed.
Time has indeed marched on since Councillor Dean’s time and brought many changes to acceptable behavior. I suppose the Mayor feels safe with his 3 staunch council supporters but the old ethic of always answering a letter or a challenge is still strong in our culture. A municipal election is 3 years away. I sincerely hope the Mayor’s bad manners or silent admission of guilt will not be forgotten.