Fewer people will be receiving Christmas cards in the mail from Mike Bradley this year.
City administration has not provided the mayor’s office with the mailing addresses of about 800 municipal employees and retirees, who are normally part of the holiday greetings Bradley sends to about 1,600 people each year.
The mayor, who has been known to spend days on the personalized Christmas cards, said he’s disappointed by the decision.
“Keep in mind, this is 28 years of doing this and I had inherited this tradition from former mayors, and we’ve never had any issues in the past,” Bradley said.
Recipients of the Christmas cards include local leaders, retirees, honours list recipients and city employees – many of whom the mayor knows personally.
“It’s always been very empowering for me because I look at the label and I see who I’m writing to, and I get to pass on some thoughts or encouragement,” Bradley said.
“To me, it was just a simple recognition of, ‘thanks for all you do’ during the year.”
City manager Margaret Misek-Evans confirmed the human resources department is no longer providing home addresses to the mayor’s office. The decision was made following a review of requirements under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, she said.
But, she noted, the mayor can still send cards to municipal employees – just not to their homes.
“That doesn’t preclude him from sending Christmas cards via inter-office mail. He knows employee names; he’s got access to that information. That’s an avenue that still remains available to him,” she said.
Coun. Anne Marie Gillis said it isn’t a frivolous issue.
“Now, some people will look at that and say, ‘Oh for heaven’s sake, it’s just a Christmas card.’ But the thing is, when someone in the position of power has knowledge of where you live, that can be intimidating. There’s no reason that any elected officials should know that.”
Third-party investigations in June and October found the mayor created a toxic environment at City Hall by harassing and bullying senior managers.
Council has sanctioned Bradley by docking his pay 90 days, restricting his access at City Hall to regular business hours and ordering his communications with staff be reviewed by Gillis.
“I would think that it would just go along with many of the new procedures and policies that we’re putting in place to make sure that everyone doesn’t feel intimidated in any way,” she said.