Monday, May 18, 2015

Mayor Flip Flop - Signgate --Only In Nanaimo

Before the last civic election it is my opinion there was a lot of discontent with the Council led by Mayor Ruttan. Sky-rocketing wages and benefits at city hall, in-camera meetings, the Colliery Dams, the new Annex building and several questionable spending decisions to name a few. That discontent was demonstrated at the polls with the election of a new Mayor and four new Councillors. It is my opinion, the much hoped for change evaporated shortly after the election with several key election 'promises' evaporating as quickly as the dew under a hot sun. To categorize this council's performance these past few months as disappointing is being generous in my opinion.

Mayor McKay (May 2015) asks Mr. Stearman to put down sign

Councillor McKay (Jly 2014) likes Mr. Stearman's signs

You may recall the council meeting during which Mayor McKay insisted that Mr. Stearman put his signs down and the Mayor's follow up to a few of my questions about city policy regarding citizens being able to display signs in Council chambers as a freedom of expression.

What follows are emails sent from Mr. Stearman following that meeting and Mayor McKay's response. I have asked Mayor McKay about the claim he asked Mr. Stearman to make and display signs in Council during Mayor Ruttan's council, and there has been no comment forthcoming from the Mayor.

In McKay's reply to Stearman he denies asking Mr. Stearman to make or display signs, which seems to contradict Stearman's claim which he supports with witnesses.

On May 5, 2015, at 6:02 PM, RANDY STEARMAN wrote:

Dear Bill,

I find it odd that you asked me to put down my sign at the beginning of last night’s council meeting because just six months ago, when you were a councillor, you asked me to make up some signs and display them in the same manner at council meetings.

This alone reflects a “flip-flop” of the very actions I point out and am duly entitled to as a taxpayer and member of the electorate – these are my constitutional rights - silent protest.

Perhaps I am hitting a nerve too close to home and you do need to take a look in the mirror and remember the Councillor McKay I knew, admired what he stood for and liked.
Randy Stearman 

From: "Mayor Bill McKay"
Cc: "Mayor&Council" <Mayor&>
Sent: Wednesday, May 6, 2015 10:46:38 AM
Subject: Re: Council meetings

Randy, while I found you had great imagination, never did I ever suggest that you create new signs. In fact, for two years, I tried to convince my Council to have ALL signs removed from inside Council Chambers. I had no luck with either the Mayor or Council.

Now, as Mayor, I have the responsibility to set the level of decorum during our Council meetings. I chose to exercise my right as Chair to do so. You are more than welcome to continue to attend Council meetings and please do participate. If you wish to exercise your right to silent protest, you are more than welcome to do so, however, not within Council Chambers.

In advance, thank you.

Bill McKay 

To: "Mayor Bill McKay"
Sent: Thursday, May 7, 2015
Subject: Re: Council meetings

Mayor McKay:

When you were tossing around the idea of running for mayor you asked me on the walkway at the boat basin, by the clock, across from the Port Theatre, if I could do up some signs and hold them up at council meetings: "New Leadership Needed", "McKay for Mayor", your words. I have witnesses who were present.

Also, outside the Signage office on McCullough Road, when you worked there, while you were having a cigarette, you stated I should make up such signs and hold them up at council. Again, witnesses.

Never did you say to me, or as far as I know to colleagues, that you tried to ban signs at council - to the contrary. When I held up pro-Waste-to-Energy signs in council chambers during that evening's feisty debate you seemed quite happy with me - as you wanted more information on the WTE and did not want council to quickly quash it.

I am extremely offended you are now trying to sway the facts as mayor by alleging I have a great imagination. What I and others have is a great memory.

You were in full support of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms when it came to LeaderCast and I hope you are not flip-flopping with the Charter when it comes to free speech. I would hate to have Nanaimo once again thrust into the national spotlight as it was before.



1 comment:

  1. The fact that the mayor doesn't want signs is perhaps the biggest sign of all.


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