At the October 20, 2014 Brighton Council meeting, Mr. David Green used Citizen Comment period to make an unfounded and personal attack against me. The reason for his verbal barrage seemed to stem from a tweet I posted on the evening of Friday, October 17, commenting that for the third meeting in a row the agenda had not been posted as required by Brighton’s Procedural By-Law (# 097-2013).
Click here to listen to Mr. David Green’s “Citizen Comment“
The first important fact overlooked, or perhaps misunderstood, by Mr. Green was that my comment refers to the last three meetings and not just the last meeting of council. I spoke to Mr. Green after Monday’s council meeting to point out this fact and Mr. Green’s response was, “ok, well you didn’t say that“. I cannot understand how Mr. Green could read the preceding tweet and miss the first seven words.
As you can see, I posted a similar tweet on October 3, 2014.
I also posted another similar tweet on September 29, 2014.
After I posted each of the preceding tweets mentioning the municipal twitter account, each one of the respective agendas was quickly posted to the municipal website. This of course was appreciated, but still disappointing. It should not be the responsibility of a taxpayer to ensure that the Procedural By-law is being followed.
Another point to note is that Mr. Green claims that “the Procedural By-Law calls for the Agenda to be ready 72 hours prior to a meeting“. Even if Mr. Green is content to settle for mediocrity, he would only be partly correct. The Procedural By-Law states that agendas must be posted at least 72 hours prior to a meeting. Unfortunately, Mr. Green fails to point out – or perhaps he fails to understand the By-Law. Agendas are to be made available to the public as soon as they are ready. The following excerpt is from Para 4.7 2) of the Procedural By-Law.
If Municipal Staff want to have an item added to the meeting agenda they need to submit their request by noon the Tuesday prior to a meeting and submissions from the public must be made before noon on the Wednesday prior to a meeting, why must the public wait until the Friday before a meeting to receive a copy of the agenda? Why can’t councillors and the public receive a copy of the agenda by the close of business on the Wednesday, or perhaps by noon on the Thursday, instead of Friday night?
Mr. Green’s comments indicate a blatant disregard for the municipal process and that he misunderstands the importance of council consistently following municipal procedures and policies.
During his comment, Mr. Green states that if I want to know what information is given to candidates then maybe I “should have invested the $100 and become a candidate“. I presume that he is referring to my questions to CAO Frost regarding the ballot process. I think that it is ridiculous to suggest that, even though I pay thousands of tax dollars to the municipality every year, I should pay an additional $100 to have simple questions answered. Especially considering that the information and documentation should have been available to the public via the municipal website. I will also note that as a result of my enquiry, additional information was added to the brighton.ca website.
Mr. Green concludes that “all I know for sure, is that this person is living up to its moniker and not the smiling part“. Mr. Green has once again misinterpreted things, even though someone may call themselves an “idiot“, it doesn’t necessarily make them stupid.
Later in the meeting, during Question Period, Mr. Green demonstrates a blatant disregard for and basic misunderstanding of the Municipal Act. Mr. Green seems to think that council can simply ignore the law as prescribed in the Municipal Act. and write their own laws to supersede the Act.
Click here to listen to Mr. Green’s question to Councillor Martinello
Councillor Martinello is correct when states that the Municipal Act. makes it very clear that reports from the Integrity Commissioner are to be made available to the public. The fact that council passes a motion to only release reports if all those named sign off, does not relieve council of their obligation under section 223.6 (3) of the Municipal Act.
Publication of reports
223.6 (3) The municipality and each local board shall ensure that reports received from the Commissioner by the municipality or by the board, as the case may be, are made available to the public. 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 98.
The Municipal Act. does not say that they “can” be made available. It clearly states that they “are” to be made available. The fact that four Brighton councillors pass a resolution saying that the reports “can” be made available if all parties sign off, does not in any way change the fact they are in breach of the Municipal Act. for not making the reports available to the public.
If I was Councillor Martinello, I also would not sign off on the release of any reports that must be made available to the public according to the Municipal Act. If he did, he perhaps could be found complicit in breaking the law with the four councillors that voted in favour of the sign off requirement.
For the record Mr. Green. I suggest that you gain a better understanding of the Municipal Act. before you embark on vexatious and malicious attacks. If not Mr. Green, you may end up looking like an idiot!