A diverse group of people experience the same event yet have vastly different perceptions of what took place. The regular council meeting On Tuesday, October 14 was just such an event. The interpretation of the meeting might fall under the definition of the Roshomon Effect, named after the classic Japanese movie.
I listened and look forward to seeing the council meeting as it is telecast later today (1:00 p.m.) on Cogeco 10. Many of us perceived mayor-by-five-votes' behaviour to be way over the top and unnecessarily abrupt, especially when he was dealing with questions posed by Ward 5 Councillor Don Lubberts. Meanwhile, those on the other side of the spectrum saw it as the mayor punishing the bad behaviour of an overly curious councillor. Even the acting town clerk took exception to the questions that were asked by Lubberts about the procedure of the ballot collection on Election Day just eleven days hence. He expressed his displeasure after the meeting on a hot mic, saying, "Don't ever do that to me again" to Don Lubberts.
Many of us are wondering why the clerk was not ready and able to answer questions regarding the procedure. He did not even have the local procedure on hand to clarify some questions that had come up in last week's meeting. In fact, the procedure that is outlined in the Municipal Elections Act was provided in June of this year and, according to the Act, cannot be changed once the council was informed of the procedures. Yet, when questioned by Don Lubberts about those procedures, the clerk could not recall the answers and advised that he would "look them up and get back to you." The people should be provided with the answers now at the last meeting before the election and one that was to be broadcast on television would have been the perfect opportunity to inform the voters and potential scrutineers of those procedures.
But that did not happen, thanks to the interference of Doug Martin and the stonewalling of the town clerk.
It seems that, not only is this election very nasty, but it is being subverted by the temper tantrums of a retiring mayor and an acting town clerk.
And interpreted in at least two different ways.
MUST READ ARTICLE in Niagara Falls Review about negativity in local elections. Seems to be a trend this year.
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