I had another one of my inner chuckles last night while I was sitting in the council chambers. Yet again it was our trusty councilman Sandy Cunningham that caused me my inner mirth. The subject under discussion was the hiring of an integrity commissioner, which the council eventually voted unanimously to seek Requests for Proposals. Some of the council members asked a few questions, then it was Sandy’s turn to speak and the conversation went something like this:
Sandy: How many municipalities are there in Simcoe County?
Mayor: Em 15 I think
Deputy Clerk Becky Dahl : No its 18 actually.
Sandy: Ah 18. Now how many of those municipalities use the services of an integrity commissioner?
Becky Dahl: Through your worship – It’s in the staff report 3 municipalities use the services of an integrity commissioner.
Some of the other council members and staff start fidgeting in their seats. You can feel the collective discomfort in the room. Sandy thinks he is on to something so he doggedly perseveres.
Sandy: So only 3 municipalities in the whole of Simcoe County use the services of an integrity commissioner out of 18?
Uncomfortable silence no one responds and try there hardest to ignore that big fat elephant in the corner of the room. Sandy is oblivious to all of this so he presses on.
Sandy: When only 3 out of 18 municipalities feel the need to use the services of an integrity commissioner why are we considering this course of action?
Deadly silence. No one is answering. I was so tempted to pretend like I was that Smart Alec kid in the class who always knows the answers to the tough questions and put my hand up “Pick me, pick me”. I guess Sandy then finally realized the metaphoric steaming pile of cow dung he had stepped into and trudged around the council chamber and looked for a quick exit.
Sandy: Just seems like a lot of money when ………………. voice trailing off.
Mayor jumps in: Any more questions? No? Ok let’s vote.
Seeing as no one answered that question last night I will do the honours and answer it just for you Sandy.
The other 15 municipalities don’t have an OPP investigation hanging around their necks like an albatross. The other 15 municipalities didn’t have its mayor plastered all over the CBC evening news in March, answering questions about influence peddling, bid rigging and conflict of interest allegations. They probably didn’t have to listen to their mayor, on that same newscast, explaining the nuances of a sibling not ‘technically’ being a conflict of interest.
So there you go Sandy you asked, I answered. Please don’t give up this gig you are a constant source of entertainment for me.