By Mike Williscraft
Saying he did not receive his “due process” Grimsby Ald. John Dunstall resigned from his two committee positions before the committees were even struck at the inaugural meeting of the newly elected council.
While taxpayers had made a clear statement hoping the antics of the previous council would be dissolved by installing seven newbies of a possible nine, that does not seem to be the case.
After Ald. Lianne Vardy and Ald. Reg Freake stepped up to take on additional responsibilities on the Public Works and Recreation Services committees, the slate was set and approved.
Dunstall said after the meeting he should have been made chair of Finance & Admin Committee – and noted he had submitted such a request – since he is a second-term alderman.
Mayor Jeff Jordan said not everyone gets the positions they want and the matter was not helped any since Dunstall opted to not attend two planned meetings to establish committee positions.
“John was asked to both meetings. He chose not to attend,” said Mayor Jeff Jordan, adding that when committee positions were decided, “Both Dave Sharpe and Kevin Ritchie had to make sacrifices.”
Ald. Dave Kadwell, who is entering his fourth term on council, said he, too, has had years where he didn’t get the committee positions he wanted, but he has never heard of an elected official quitting before they started.
“This event was a first that I have ever witnessed, Dunstall pulling this stunt in all my terms. It’s unfortunate he didn’t attend any of our get togethers/ meetings that he was invited to,” said Kadwell.
“We had two pre-scheduled meetings for council priorities purposes and one of the items for discussion was putting our four committees in order, where I believe all were invited.”
He added the meetings were held in accordance with the Municipal Act as the majority of attendees had not been sworn in yet.
“Just to reflect on the past term, Ald. Steve Berry and I wanted to be Chair of Public Works. Council voted and Berry was Chair. I accepted the decision,” noted Kadwell.
Dunstall noted that “things can change”, and because he is not a committee member does not mean he cannot attend committee meetings.