Article printed in the Sunday, Nov. 27 issue.
The atmosphere at Tom Davies Square has gone to the dogs recently, as the fur was flying at the latest council meeting.
Acting as city staff guard dog, Mayor David Courtemanche got his back up about Councillor Lynne Reynolds' criticism that the tail wags the dog at city hall.
In an open letter, Reynolds had unleashed a critique of some city managers and the mayor for their bury-the-bones secrecy.
The mayor's angry response indicates that the tail-waggers resent having their noses rubbed in their mess. In making her concerns public,
Reynolds prefers to be watchdog, not lapdog, like two other councillors who sided with the mayor.
Reynolds' inside look into the dog-eat-dog world of our city council reads like a soap opera.
Will her dogged pursuit of transparency put her in the Tom Davies Square doghouse? Will she be muzzled, or kept at bay by the mayor and her fellow councillors? Is this watchdog's bark worse than her bite? Stay tuned for the next episode of As the Tail Wags.
Firstly, I applaud Councillor Lynne Reynolds. I remain of the opinion she did not reveal anything that many of her constituents and fellow Sudburians weren't already thinking.
I am surprised at Mayor David Courtemanche's response at council. For an individual who describes himself as "the official head of council and as the CEO of this corporation," I am left somewhat confused. Perhaps there is someone out there like me who thinks the mayor of our city is an elected official.
The shenanigans of council over the past year remind me of a Hans Christian Anderson tale from my youth entitled The Emperor's New Clothes.
Given, Courtemanche's charged and defending tone of response to Reynolds, it is so blatantly obvious to what is going on within our "transparent" council, which Courtemanche attempts to dismiss the general public for not pretending otherwise.
If any "political bravado" has been exercised here it is on the part of Courtemanche and the defending of his "staff." Really, would such behavior be tolerated from a CEO of any corporation?
I agree with Reynolds as I too have been questioning the "confidential" reports, e-mails and decision- making out of the view of the public eye.
If our council is as transparent and accountable as described by Courtemanche, why is it necessary for this council to have a "whistle blower" policy? Why is the CEO of the Corporation of Greater Sudbury defeating his own description of "teamwork" by attempting to silence Reynolds with a public reprimand?
Really, does the Emperor think that we are "stupid and incompetent" and cannot see through this drama as played out in council?