They really set her up. They wanted to shut Meed Ward down – last night they did just that. The fallout, & there will be some, will not be pretty.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 9, 2013.   It was almost slick – if a little underhanded – the kind of thing we used to see with a previous Mayor.

While Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward was talking about one of the finer points of the Ghent Avenue development the Mayor looked directly at the Clerk, nodded his head and the Clerk nodded back at which point the Mayor interrupted Councillor Meed Ward and brought to her attention that she had gone beyond the 15 minutes of discussion she was permitted under the city’s procedural by-law.

Meed Ward was a little stunned and I don’t think she was fully aware of what had just been done to her.

At full Council meetings the Mayor presides and recognizes different speakers.  The city manager is in attendance and he is there to address Council on how the administration would handle an issue.

The Clerk plays a vital, semi-judicial and administrative role.  If Council passes a bylaw it isn’t in force until the Clerk signs the document.

Angela Morgan, Clerk, city of Burlington; powerful position.  She runs the municipal elections, she has the power to tell the Mayor what he is doing is wrong and advise him publicly not to do so.  She made the mistake on Monday of letting her Mayor mislead her.

The Clerk is the person the Mayor, or any member of Council for that matter, turns to for an interpretation of the rules.  The Clerk has an assistant who takes the minutes but it is the Clerk who has final say on almost anything and everything.

Angela Morgan, Clerk for the city of Burlington; is an attentive, polite, informed bureaucrat.  But Monday evening, April 8th 2013  – she did nothing to advance the civility of debate and discussion at Council meetings.  This is not something she did on her own – the Mayor put her up to it.

One must admit that Meed Ward does run on – frequently.  She has no friends at Council.  Her Ward 2 colleague Rick Craven has absolutely no time for her.  Councillor Taylor puts up with Meed Ward because he sees a lot of himself when he was a younger man in Meed Ward today.

Councillor  Dennison and the Mayor treat her with the mildest respect possible or with total disdain – depending on the issue.

Monday evening there was a very divisive debate on the Ghent Avenue development, which is in Meed Ward’s ward and she wasn’t backing down.

Mayor Goldring read the Procedural Bylaw carefully and found a way to collude with the city Clerk to shut down a member of his council. The days of innocence for this Council came to an end Monday April 8th, 2013

It isn’t a very pretty development and there are all kinds of issues surrounding the pre-sale of the 58 properties and the way the city chose to let the developer’s consultants provide much of the technical opinion.

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4 comments to They really set her up. They wanted to shut Meed Ward down – last night they did just that. The fallout, & there will be some, will not be pretty.

  • Vicky Lavora

    Bad city. Bad bad city. Sit in the corner!

  • Mike

    I respectfully disagree with Rob.

    We are in the unfortunate situation that mistakes are always determined by history. In this situation if Councillor Meed Ward didn’t press so hard to make her point, and things go wrong in the future, the Councillors who were against her would have said we all agreed and it seemed like a good idea at the time. If for significant issues impassioned articulated arguments are not made if someone is opposed to the issue everyone will get off the hook.

    It’s people like Councillor Meed Ward that allow us to hold people’s feet to the fire when it is necessary.

  • Rob Narejko

    When I go to Council to speak, I know how much time I have.

    The time limits are there for a reason. Being 2 years into the current term, all Councillors are aware of how much time they have to speak.

    I am sure the Chair wanted to keep the session moving along. The Councilors all perform yeoman’s service and are in Council meetings well into the late evening.

    Apply the same rules to everyone. Keep the discussion relevant and keep it moving so all speakers can have their say. Fifteen minutes is a long time to make your point.

  • Stan D

    Honestly – thank you for bringing this to light. Its not the type of thing you would read in another paper. You would only see this type of underhandedness if you attended the meeting so thank you for telling us who dont attend.