OPINION: Show before the show as Dunstall wants to send home resident, marbles and all

 

Ya know, good reader, it really is no fun to cover Grimsby council.

It used to be something to which I would look forward. It was an event; to sit back and just wait for something truly silly or outlandish to unfold.

Now it happens every meeting. The novelty has long worn off. The only thing to do now is watch in horror, wondering how much long-term damage can be done to the municipality by a group of small-minded individuals and how much embarrassment can be amassed in the remaining 536 days (from Thursday to the Monday, Oct. 24, 2022 election).

It’s just so far beyond funny or even sad.

It used to be one could look down an agenda, spot the landmines, then just wait in anticipation as the moment approached. They always went off, sometimes for hours at a time.

Monday was yet another example of brand new stupidity. One must consider the possibility some of these jokers sit at home and try to think of ground-breaking ways to look like buffoons. Scarily, they succeed, consistently.

In the latest instalment of How the Dysfunctional Council Turns, we had had Coun. Kevin Ritchie taking a starring role with his inquisition-like interrogation of a well-researched man who wanted to offer his opinion on the Municipal Act’s coverage of the CAO’s ability to terminate someone in a position mandated by the Act.

Now, Ritchie’s antics would not have been necessary if Coun. John Dunstall got his way when he sought to simply delete the constituent’s delegation from the meeting agenda – along with four other items – stating, “I just don’t want to see this on the agenda. It’s as simple as that.”

Dunstall wasn’t taking his marbles and going home. he wanted the delegate, Adam Mottershead, to keep his marbles in their pouch and depart the scene.

Yet another instance of something many will comment “never seen that before” when they hear about it. This is another all-too-common occurrence emanating from Grimsby council.

Then toss in another item Dunstall wanted removed being an item which is not supposed to be up for debate at all – a simple Notice of Motion. NoMs are brought forward by a council member, no discussion. The mayor reads a statement acknowledging the item will be on the agenda for the following meeting.

That is unless it is something Dunstall and his buddies five don’t want. Then they run through their usual 5-4 vote with the blind leading the blind and the lack of any true representation of democracy is perpetuated for all to see.

Yes, there was a vote, but democracy is about discussion of varying views, about weighing the merits of a case and making a decision. It is not about censoring what topics can and will be discussed at the council table simply because “I just don’t want to see this on the agenda.”

Then you had Ritchie teeing up question after question for Mottershead like he was a terrorist trying to invade the Dominion.

How dare a resident question the wisdom of The Grimsby Five and CAO Harry Schlange. They’re right about everything, always. There’s no need to discuss the point, so just move along.

Remember, this is from the same council which ran on a platform of transparency and accountability. They even voted to include an “open forum” – allowing 10 minutes or so at the start of any council meeting for someone to attend and speak to council on any topic.

Remember that?

I can’t wait for face-to-face meetings to resume at Town Hall. Maybe residents will get red-faced and come charging at the mic while shouting along their march from the back of the room like Coun. Randy Vaine did at public meetings pre-2018 election?

Maybe Vaine and his four riding buddies will simply vote to not allow the electorate into the building because they simply don’t want them there.

Not that it matters on content, but the NoMs in question were for an HR review of financial impacts from the plethora of terminations as well as a third-party review processes relating to signing authorities. And Mottershead did speak, eloquently, in the end. The conduct of The Five is simply not worthy of another drop of ink, so this week’s stories will only be online at:

newsnowniagara.com

This is what you have, Grimsby residents. A CAO who approves staff signing bank documents without authority – which precipitated Monday’s show – and a posse of five councillors who will do absolutely anything in support of that kind of administration conduct.

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