Vote Dick Carpani for Mayor
  Sarnia Ontario Canada

Council vote questioned

Mayor Mike Bradley's actions at Monday's city council meeting went against accepted meeting rules and even council's own rules of procedure, according to a former city politician.

In a letter to The Observer Dick Carpani, a former public school board trustee and city councillor, called the mayor's actions at council strange and unusual.

Following a failed vote on the approval of a $90,000 dictaphone system for Sarnia police, council continued discussion on the issue and Bradley requested a second vote in order to get the motion passed.

Bradley explained to council that without the funding approval, Sarnia Police Service would have to break a five-year 1ease police chief Bill O'Brien had signed with OMB Capital that obliged the police to pay a total of $18,095 a year to lease the dictaphone system.

The signing of that lease went against protocol, which requires council to approve all long.term lease agreements.

When a second vote was held, council approved funding for the lease.

Carpani said a councillor, particularly one who voted against the motion, should have made a point of order to inform the mayor he was making a procedural error.

There should be no discussion after a motion has passed, Carpani said. In order to change the motion, rules require a “motion of reconsideration" that has to be passed by a two-thirds majority.

“Then there could have been a motion of reconsideration that, if passed, would have allowed the meeting to proceed to discuss and reverse the previous motion,” he said.

Carpani questions the mayor's actions noting Bradley has many years of experience, and should have known better.

“The mayor has again shown that he is able to bully the council into getting his way,” Carpani said “Bradley has bullied councils many times before, but usually his methods are only suspicious, not prohibited.”

Bradley defended his actions and noted the situation was unique, as a contract had been pre-approved without council's permission.

The second vote was a recorded vote, Bradley noted, which can be requested any time, even after a vote has been taken.

If council felt the vote was not done according to procedure, Bradley said any council member could have challenged his ruling.

“If somebody wants to challenge it on council, "they can simply ask for a reconsideration at the next council meeting,” Bradley said.

However, if council does revisit the issue and changes its mind, Bradley said the city could run the risk of litigation or be slapped with fee for not honouring the contract.

(By STEPHEN HUEBL The Observer 2005 03 23)


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