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Week of July 21

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Noelle Paquette Memorial School?

Sir: The Cox Youth Centre in Tecumseh Park was a busy spot to be on July 9th.

What has become an annual day of fun in the park, pool and splash pad to honour the memory of Noelle Paquette was once again enjoyed by a multitude of families.

Activities began at noon, and it wasn’t long before the park was full of children in bright yellow shirts.

I was told 1,500 hot dogs were cooked, to add to the popcorn, freezies and cold drinks. Face painting, a bouncy castle, mini-putt and crafts kept everyone busy.

Thank you to the Rotary Club for their help, and to Noelle’s family for once again remaining strong.

My vote for the home of the new and combined school of SCITS and St. Clair is The Noelle Paquette Memorial School, a tribute to the teacher whose legacy fund continues to improve the lives of students in Lambton-Kent schools.

Thanks again for the memorable day.

With respect,

Mary Ettinger



Unfair to blame mayor

Sir: Re: the July 14 letter from Fraser Williams, “Sarnia deserves a new mayor.”

I can’t believe that people blame Mayor Mike for all the job loss and plant closings in Sarnia. I think we, as people, have done it to ourselves.

When you made $8 an hour I wanted $9 dollars, and when I got $9 dollars you wanted $10. We have done this for as long as I can remember, and have priced ourselves out of work. And that also goes for the CEOs who want big buyouts. That is why we have lost jobs here; it’s not one man’s decisions.

I get really tired of hearing it’s all Mikes fault, like he woke up one day and cost us our jobs.

I personally am leaving Sarnia and Ontario because we just can’t afford the hydro and water costs here anymore. That is why plants leave – they can’t afford the cost of doing business here.

Robert Payne



Mayor’s persecution waste of time and money

Sir: The remarks of city councillors attempting to justify their lynching of the Mayor Mike Bradley require comment.

Coun. Andy Bruziewicz was quoted as saying, “How many times would you like to kill poor Mayor Mike? The only possible outcome would be to uncover more victims of toxic environment.  The city has become the victim of a culture of fear.”

Was Bruziewicz quoting something he saw on television?  Where is he looking to uncover more victims? Good grief!

Coun. Matt Mitro said he would spend over $100,000.  It’s not HIS money he is willing to spend, it’s taxpayers’ money.  And for what?  To further his political ambitions?  I hope the taxpayers remember at the next election.  He’s pretty loose with tax dollars, in my not so humble opinion.

The councillors, with the exception of Dave Boushy and Mike Kelch, voted in favour of the heaviest financial penalty available. Why? Because the Mayor said something that probably needed to be said to the disgruntled former employees and city manager.

Is being “politically correct” more important than saying what is necessary to get things done?

Is not the city manager responsible for city hall staff and the “toxic” climate?  Why, then, is the blame placed on the mayor?

In London, where there actually was a “scandal,” no financial penalty was imposed, nor was one imposed in Toronto when a council member negotiated a “verbal agreement” with a developer to cut $100,000 from an agreement.  In the second instance, the integrity commissioner ruled the councillor broke the code of conduct but applied no monetary penalty (Toronto Sun ~ July 7, 2016).

Council should rescind the motion docking three months’ pay, which is both unfair and unwarranted. The Mayor does his job and is entitled to payment.

Coun. Anne Marie Gillis used the term “toxic environment” (perhaps that’s where Bruziewicz picked it up).  She is obligated to provide an explanation to justify her choice of words.

Council wasted a lot of time and taxpayers’ dollars in this persecution of the mayor.  They should concentrate on doing the work they were elected to do.

Bernice Rade



Voters will determine outcome of council fight


Sir: I hope the city and council can move forward now.

It boggles the mind that in this day and age why senior city hall staff would not have access to HR services to mediate the situation, instead of letting it fester for three months?

How is it that no EAP services were available so this would not affect emotional and physical health?

There was talk of power struggles. Whose? Does the mayor need senior staff help on a daily business in order to successfully conduct the day-to-day duties?

Council should also remember that the people voted for the Mayor, as they felt he was the best person for the job. These same voters put councillors in their council seat. I do recall talk of open, honest and transparent governance.

I don’t recall any candidate having a platform of “getting rid of the mayor.” It seems some are intent in pursuing this agenda. Perhaps this energy would be better directed to council business instead of personal agendas.

The ‘misconception’ of the Fort Mac motion being defeated by a 7-2 vote seems like backpedaling and double speak. If anyone but the mayor had brought this motion forward, would the vote have been the same?

City staff should be applauded for the SCITS report they compiled. It was excellent. I’m baffled by the fact that a lot of other reports that are required are done by outside consultants at great expense.

It’s fine to demand courtesy and respect in the workplace, but one also has to BE courteous and respectful.

I wish council luck in the remaining term. The voters will decide who comes back next time around. I’m glad I live in the Village!

Joy Timmington

Point Edward


 Councillors not worthy

Sir: It seems as though Mayor Mike did not conform to the new council’s order of ineptitude.

He lost the support of the new council members and had his pay docked, all while having the new councillor’s values instilled. These new values could compel the mayor to relent and discard some of his wants for Sarnia, things that likely helped him retain the position of mayor for 28 years.

Did the allegedly “abused” staffers’ require continuous support and recognition – even when unwarranted? Did they leave because they didn’t get it? Or perhaps it was a realisation of their own abilities – or lack thereof, to do the job?

Whatever it was, it realistically shouldn’t have been caused by receiving criticism from someone. Faults can be turned into self-improvement, and progress.

Could it be that the new council members have the same desire for continuous support and recognition from co-workers – even when unwarranted? I’m curious how they supported (and protected) themselves with uniformity of opinion at the conscious expense of another. It’s discouraging that none of them could find support in a more productive way.

To steal a quote from Abe Lincoln: “Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.”

The votes cast next election will hopefully tell us who is worthy and help sort this mess out.

N. S. Wallace



Bradley a victim of mob justice

Sir: Congratulations to city councillors! Their hatchet job on Mayor Mike far surpasses his perceived guilt. But hey, why worry about technicalities when mob justice at city hall prevails.

When did criticizing employees in the performance of their duties become a crime?

I recall that the newly elected councillors campaigned for change in 2014. So, well done again! They have changing emphasis and direction. With a Herculean effort, they have created a potentially toxic atmosphere at City Hall that will prevail for the remainder of their terms in office, and managed to upset an electorate that will not easily forgive nor forget.

Since everyone and his dog in the city have an opinion on this fiasco, let me add my two cents worth.

Political correctness has run rampant for the last three decades. The tenets being: The last are equally as good as the first; the most stupid are just as clever as the brightest; everyone gets a prize regardless of performance; a person must never be criticized whatever the circumstance; the touchy, feely, good-about-oneself aura must always be maintained.

The aftermath is a society that reaps what was sown. Poor old Mayor Mike is another luckless recipient. He dared criticize city staff and burst their self-contained bubble. Though the “victims” labelled it abuse, many others might consider his approach an application of realistic performance feedback.

Whatever your view, political correctness and the integrity commissioner stepped in and the rest is history.

This saga raises a serious issue that has yet to be addressed by council – who will oversee senior employee performance. Lack of oversight by a city manager can only be resolved by involvement of elected officials.

The four-year remediation of Centennial Park (with no end in sight) highlights inadequacies in the way jobs are planned, undertaken and managed. So what to do now?

One really needs thank our councillors for creating a situation where no elected official will want to tackle employee performance or efficiency improvements.

They have done the electorate and Mayor Bradley a huge disservice. May they be adequately rewarded in the future.

Brian Wallace





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