The positions different members of council have taken is a pretty sticky wicket

By Pepper Parr

November 27th, 2022



A reader brought to our attention what might be what the British call a sticky wicket.

A member of Council is the subject of a complaint to the city’s Integrity Commissioner.

In due course the Commissioner will issue a report that will go to Council.

A few days ago four members of Council sent a Letter to the Editor of the Hamilton Spectator complaining about a column that had been written by Joan Little, a long time columnist and a former Burlington city councilor.

The letter that was sent was signed by four members of Council.  It had been presented to all members of council – three chose not to sign it.

Councillors Stolte, Bentivegna and Kearns (on the right) chose not to sign a Letter to the Editor submitted to the Hamilton Spectator

Assuming the feelings and views the different members of council remain the same, when the Integrity Commissioner report goes to council and is voted on, there would be one of those traditional 4-3 votes – except that the Councillor who is the subject of the report, who also signed the letter, would not be able to vote and would have to recuse himself because he is the object of the report – which means there would be a 3-3  vote, which means it fails.

And nothing would be done.

Citizens could ask for a judicial review but that would call for people to come forward and bear the legal costs.

Not likely from a community where less than a third chose to bother to vote.


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2 comments to The positions different members of council have taken is a pretty sticky wicket

  • Penny Hersh

    The question of the day is why would Councillor Sharman choose to put his name to this letter?

    Surely he wouldn’t want to be accused of being manipulated into taking a position before the Integrity Commission had reported its findings.

    This does not bode well for the start of the new term for this council.

    Kudos to Councillors Kearns, Stolte and Bentevegna for not taking part in what could be considered political pressure with an Integrity Commission Report.

  • The reason the Mayor and three councillors are able to likely set this up for failure is, of course due to the ridiculous size of our Council. Hopefully Sharman at the very least will have second thoughts about being a party to making a mockery of Integrity Commissioner investigations and this Council can be persuaded to revert back to a council that cannot so easily be turned into “lame duck” decision makers. Perhaps Sharman’s constituents who become aware of what he is doing should let him know protecting councillors from being impartially investigated and consequences, if any are needed are put in place as they should be given the legislation put in place to protect taxpayers, let him know how they feel.