Vote Dick Carpani for Mayor
  Sarnia Ontario Canada

Changes needed to honour list

The long-standing bad blood between our mayor and council was evident again this week when tempers flared during budget talks over one of the mayor's pet projects.

It was hardly a big budget item but the bickering over it was symbolic of a much larger problem on council.

Some councillors at the session questioned the money budgeted every year to pay for the Mayor's Honour List event. While spending a few thousand dollars on a civic reception seems minute when deliberating a $65 million budget, we hope the root of some councillors' concerns was not lost on a failed motion.

First of all, the event should not be cancelled as was suggested in a motion from the council floor. But undoubtedly the event should be restructured. The mayor's honour list is an outstanding concept which was started by former mayor Marceil Saddy. Since it is municipally-funded, a committee of council, including the mayor, and members of the community at large, should be formally invited to be part of the decision-making process. Bestowing honour on citizens of the community is an important civic responsibility and should require more than one person's final decision.

In a cost cutting move, the mayor excluded members of his own council from the guest list this year. That in itself creates ill will and makes it more of a mayor's event than a civic event.

As pointed out by Councillor Anne Khan, the event should not include a free bar. Legal liabilities aside, the taxpayers of this city should not be paying for honourees and guests to drink alcohol. A cash bar should be expected.

Unfortunately, some people will view this latest council battle as nothing more than an attack on the mayor. In reality, the concerns are legitimate, but the plan to try and implement the change wasn't properly communicated.

Editorial The Observer 2003 03 08


Date This Page Was Last Up-Dated:  October 08, 2006