Mayor uses forked tongue to explain what she doesn't want to talk about - and them dumps on the messengers because they open the kimona

By Pepper Parr

April 1st, 2024



Well then – who did fire two of the top level city hall staff?

There are only two people who can fire a city employee:  The City Manager and the Mayor IF shes uses her Strong Mayor Powers.

IF the Mayor fires a staff member using her Strong Mayor powers she is required to post a notice on the city web site saying what she did and why she did it.

Now here is where it gets tricky.

Mayors says: “misinformation, speculation, rumour and fear mongering out in the community.”

The Mayor appears to have taken the position that she cannot write about the people who were fired because that would identify who they are and the rules the Mayor uses is that Burlington doesn’t name people publicly when there is a human resources matter.

The Mayor probably did not do the actual hiring herself: she would have directed the Executive Director of Human Resources to do the dirty – and, because that Executive is in place as an “interim” Executive Director, there was no way she was going to tell the Mayor it was not a task she was prepared to carry out.

We know the City Manager didn’t do the firing.  He told us via a message from the City’s Communications department on March 22nd.

City Manager Tim Commisso: not what he thought was going to happen when the Mayor chose him as City Manager after firing former City Manager James Ridge.

Here is what we were sent:

“Responding on behalf of Tim Commisso, City Manager – Further to your requests to Council members and Corporate Communications, I can confirm Brynn Nheiley and Sheila Jones are no longer working for the City.

“As you know, it’s our policy not to comment on personnel matters, but I would like to note that the City is grateful to Brynn and Sheila for their many important contributions over the years and we wish them the very best in their future endeavours.”

Mayor Meed Ward is telling anyone who will listen that there is “misinformation, speculation, rumour and fear mongering out in the community.”

The misinformation is coming out of the mouth of the Mayor; speculation and rumour are the result of the elected leadership failing to be accountable and transparent.

The fear that has infected city hall is the result of a Mayor that hides behind procedures.  Can you imagine the conversations that took place around the dinner tables of every single city employee during the Easter holiday?   How many have decided that it is perhaps time to move on and fined a greener pasture?

There are those that know the full story – but they aren’t ready to speak – they do not want to incur the wrath of a Mayor who has let the power she has to go to her head.

Power does reveal – doesn’t it?

Now to find out more of the why.

Related News story

At best Mayor’s response

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.



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1 comment to Mayor uses forked tongue to explain what she doesn’t want to talk about – and them dumps on the messengers because they open the kimona

  • Lynn Crosby

    I’m not sure she really would be required to post that on the website. Surely such things re: staff are confidential Human Resources matters and likely exempt from this new posting rule?

    But oh yeah, her lashing out every time she’s criticized – including in the Spectator whenever there’s an article that is critical and doing the old “blame the messenger” thing is really old now – the spin, the twisting, and yet never directly addressing the actual concerns, ever.

    People see through this and chuckle/eye roll about it now, saying “cue the overly long and defensive diatribe by the mayor.” Other mayors don’t do this stuff. It comes across in the opposite way in which she likely thinks it does. And it’s especially ironic that she keeps proving the point that she shouldn’t have strong mayor powers.

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

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