Who is really being childish here?
In a move described by Councillor Russ Wyatt as “having a gun stuck to your head”, the Mayor attempted to ‘walk’ stadium funding onto the city council agenda. Such a move requires a suspension of the rules. Wyatt and five other councillors decided not to simply roll over on the issue and notified the Speaker they would not support a suspension of the rules.
This left the Mayor with two options: put the issue on the agenda for the next council meeting, or call a special meeting.
Councillor Justin Swandel has characterized the move by Councillor Wyatt and the other councillors as a childish stunt.
This prompts questions:
If the exercise of their rights by councillors is viewed as a stunt, then why not change the rules so that the Mayor and Councillor Swandel can walk anything onto the agenda at any time?
Why do the Mayor and Councillor Swandel view this attempt to promote transparency and accountability for public spending as a negative?
Has the obvious lack of due diligence, cost guesstimates and flawed decision-making not already created a large enough mess? The big hole in the ground at the University of Manitoba says that it has.
Is it not time that someone actually sat down and gave this entire project some sober second thought without rushing it through?
Some of the techniques being employed by the Mayor are very similar to those used by scam artists: create a sense of urgency, rush the decision, decide right now because time is of the essence, act right now or the price will go up. Never mind providing the required information to allow proper study and evaluation – just trust me and you can’t tell anyone else about this. Sound familiar? It seems the public was already scammed once on the stadium deal. Should we throw good money after bad money?
Exercising his rights, the Mayor called a special meeting of City Council (not to be confused with a childish stunt) and pushed stadium funding through. The mayor and his buddies got their way, just a day late.
Due process must be such a downer – especially for politicians with dictatorial tendencies.