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LETTER: ‘Why has Sarnia City Council been dysfunctional for more than 30 years?’

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Dear Editor:

Re: City Council abruptly adjourns after councillor’s outburst

Why is every term of Sarnia City Council a further embarrassment for the voters and residents who are otherwise proud to call Sarnia home?  

Mayor Bradley and Councillor Dennis are the latest in holding the city back.

Councillor Dennis proved he is unfit for office with his outburst – he fell hook line and sinker into the oldest trick in Bradley’s playbook, which is to humiliate and discredit any councillors that may be in opposition.  

If the Mayor, who is chair of council, is actively trying to bring down his council members, then the city will keep “circling the drain.”  

So why did Councillor Dennis fall for it?  Hard to know, he has every opportunity to know how this goes.

So how did the events of October 16th come about and who was in the wrong?  

The Ombudsman or the Integrity Commissioner have the liability insurance needed to be able to answer that question, but a long list of council members seemingly did nothing to reestablish order while the Mayor and Councillor Dennis were both behaving poorly. 

The only member of council that did anything was Councillor Gillis, who correctly called for a “point of order” (for the record I voted, but not for Anne Marie Gillis when she ran for mayor, but maybe I should have). 

Instead of ruling on the “point of order” the Mayor instead egged on Councillor Dennis to further discredit him adding “the public needs to see the real Bill Dennis Jr.” 

I wonder what the Procedure By-law says about this.

When will the voters of Sarnia start thinking four years before the next election how they want this city to run in the future and who can do that as Mayor? 

And when will the province give municipalities the tools to deal with dysfunction such as this?  Instead, this provincial government is giving mayors enhanced powers which will only worsen the tyranny. The province could instead, exercise its authority under the Municipal Act to look at appointing someone to oversee Sarnia Council and report back on a plan to restructure.

Why has Sarnia City Council been dysfunctional for more than 30 years?  

The Mayor and the building seem to be the only common factors.  

It must be the building.

Scott Jones

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