Friday, 29 December 2017

EXPULSION FROM COUNCIL MEETINGS

THERE CONTINUES TO BE MUCH MADE BY SOME COUNCIL WATCHERS IN THE

 COMMUNITY  OVER THE NEAR - EXPULSION OF AN OLDER WOMAN FROM A

COUNCIL MEETING EVEN THOUGH THE ACTUAL INCIDENT TOOK PLACE MANY

MONTHS AGO.

 FOR THE RECORD, I WOULD LIKE TO STATE THE FACTS OF WHAT ACTUALLY

TOOK PLACE.

FIRST IT MUST BE NOTED THAT UNDER THE COMMUNITY CHARTER, S 132 STATES

THAT THE MAYOR MUST PRESERVE ORDER IN A COUNCIL MEETING.

S 133 STATES THAT IF THE PERSON PRESIDING AT A COUNCIL MEETING CONSIDERS

THAT ANOTHER PERSON AT THE MEETING IS ACTING IMPROPERLY, THE PERSON

PRESIDING MAY ORDER THAT THE PERSON IS EXPELLED FROM THE MEETING. AND,

IF THAT PERSON DOES NOT LEAVE , A PEACE OFFICER MAY ENFORCE THE ORDER AS

IF IT WERE A COURT ORDER.

IN ESSENCE, COUNCIL MEETINGS ARE CONSIDERED TO BE QUASI-JUDICIAL AND

REQUIRE THE SAME LEVEL OF DECORUM AS A COURT ROOM.  UNFORTUNATELY,

SOME PEOPLE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ACCEPTING THAT, AND APPEAR TO THINK

ATTENDING A  COUNCIL MEETING IS AKIN TO BEING IN THE COLOSSEUM AND THEY

ACT ACCORDINGLY.


THE OCCASION IN QUESTION WAS A PUBLIC HEARING CONSIDERING THE DESIGN OF

A  HOUSE.  A WOMAN SPOKE AGAINST THE BYLAW AMENDMENTS

UNDER CONSIDERATION. SOME OF HER COMMENTS WERE CONSIDERED TO BE

RACIALLY OFFENSIVE - TO THE POINT WHERE THE APPLICANT SPOKE AFTER HER TO

EXPRESS HOW HE AND HIS FAMILY WERE PERSONALLY OFFENDED AT HER

REMARKS.


THE WOMAN WAS ASKED THREE TIMES TO EITHER APOLOGIZE OR LEAVE THE

COUNCIL CHAMBERS   WHEN SHE REFUSED TO DO EITHER, THE MEETING WAS

RECESSED AND  THE POLICE WERE CALLED IN TO REMOVE HER..

UNFORTUNATELY,  NOT BEING FAMILIAR WITH THE COMMUNITY CHARTER, THEY

DID NOT THINK  THEY HAD THE AUTHORITY TO DO SO.

RATHER THAN GET INTO AN ARGUMENT WITH THEM AT THAT TIME,  I DECIDED TO

RESUME THE MEETING AND CARRY ON REGARDLESS.


I HAVE SINCE TALKED WITH THE DETACHMENT COMMANDER AND HE AGREED  THE

0FFICERS WHO ATTENDED WERE MISINFORMED AND APOLOGIZED FOR THE ERROR.


 NOTHING , INCLUDING AGE,  GIVES ANYONE THE RIGHT TO MAKE

DEROGATORY, RACIST REMARKS.  THEY SHOULD NEVER BE TOLERATED .

NOR IS IGNORANCE  AN EXCUSE AS THE WOMAN WAS FORMERLY A MEMBER OF

COUNCIL.

IN FACT, SHE WAS THE FIRST MEMBER OF COUNCIL WHO WAS EVER CENSURED BY

COUNCIL,  AND FOR HER OFFENCE OF STRIKING ANOTHER MEMBER OF COUNCIL

WAS CENSURED AND REMOVED FROM ALL COMMITTEES FOR THE BALANCE OF HER

TERM OF OFFICE . DESPITE SEVERAL TRIES SHE WAS NEVER RE-ELECTED.


IN SUMMARY, IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT TO MAINTAIN CIVILITY AND RESPECTFUL

DISCOURSE IN COUNCIL MEETINGS, INCLUDING PUBLIC HEARINGS. NO ONE IN THE

AUDIENCE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DISRUPT THE MEETING , TO MAKE

DEROGATORY REMARKS ABOUT ANYONE ELSE, OR TO INTIMIDATE OR DETRACT

FROM ANOTHER'S PRESENTATION.

IT WOULD BE VERY EASY FOR ME TO SIMPLY SAY, "LET 'ER RIP" AND TRY TO WORK

WITH THE RESULTANT CHAOS. HOWEVER, THAT IS NOT WHAT I WAS ELECTED TO

DO.

SO, AS LONG AS I AM MAYOR, WE WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE ORDER, AND

RESPECTFUL DISCOURSE WILL PREVAIL IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS.

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