Opinion: Grimsby could use Easton’s advice

Not surprisingly, all anyone wanted to talk about this week was Grimsby council, as in, “What’s going on with Grimsby Council?”
To which I would just shrug, cause I have absolutely no idea.
It’s been like driving by an accident in that one seems to have to look even though there is little desire to do so.
Nothing from last week’s charade will be relived but one major point must be clarified.
Both when Coun. Dave Sharpe came into the NewsNow office in January for a chat and again last week on social media, he referenced my bias with regards to the CAO Harry Schlange.
In my office, he said he didn’t want to talk about the CAO because my bias where he was concerned would skew any comments.
So, on that, I’d just like to note I really don’t know the man. I have had two discussions with him, both professional and if I sent him an inquiry, it was always answered promptly and appropriately. There is no bone to pick between the CAO and me.
What I noted to Sharpe at the time was, for our discussion and moving forward, we can pack up any possible CAO matter and put it in a box on the shelf and still have a truck load of issues which the council needs to work through as a team if it is to achieve anything in the remainder of its term.
I would love to see the lot of them locked in a room with Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton, the mayor having a yard stick in hand, until they agreed to stop behaving like elementary school students banished to detention.
It was interesting to note that two members of the Grimsby Five were in attendance at Lincoln Chamber of Commerce’s politicians’ breakfast last Friday.
Too bad they weren’t all on hand to hear Lincoln’s philosophy for working through issues, which started with “leave egos at the door”.
“I’m proud to say that there are rarely empty seats at our council meeting and Committee of the Whole meetings,” said Easton.
“If you don’t have an affinity for compromise, you should never become a politician. The objective is always to find that compromise that will be in the best interests of the community.”
I must admit, I laughed out loud at the “empty seat” remark coming on the heels of the Grimsby Five no-show extravaganza on Feb. 5.
Instead of trying to deflect or justify their actions, these characters need to look at themselves in the face and reconsider their tack.
The thing all need to remember is nobody is without fault, but some have gone out of their way to fan flames of outright hate.
Taking Easton’s comments into consideration, I offer up the not one, but two heated exchanges conjured up by Coun. Randy Vaine last Monday, Feb. 17, before the council meeting which would include the contentious closed session “debate” would even take place.
First, he shouted down Coun. Lianne Vardy who had circulated an email noting her serious asthma issues compounded by scents and colognes. Vaine took exception to this somehow shouting Vardy had singled him out to clerk Sarah Kim and that his scent was prescribed by his doctor.
While there seemed no resolution to that issue, Vaine quickly followed that by waving his name plate in the air voicing his serious displeasure – and I understate this considerably – with Mayor Jeff Jordan.
Jordan had jockeyed councillors’ seating arrangements to break up the right vs left of the table. Vaine wanted to remain with his amigos it would seem and let the mayor know it by changing name plates to signify he would sit in his previous spot.
When he went to the washroom, Jordan switched the name plate positions again, which sent Vaine off with claims the mayor was “breaking the law” since he was under doctor’s orders to wear his scent and that could adversely affect Vardy. Mixed in there was a “you’ll hear from my lawyer.”
Meanwhile, Coun. Reg Freake – in between them acting as referee – could be heard telling Vaine to sit down and leave the matter to be dealt with in closed session, which is both good and bad.
I don’t think council seating arrangements is in the Municipal Act under closed session justifications, but it may be in the Grimsby Five handbook, not sure.
So remember, all this was before the meeting even started so no wonder the meetings are full of tension and anxiety.

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