Mea culpa

Upon my return from a week off I was informed that at the Monday, June 20 council meeting - while I was sitting on a boat on Stuart Lake spectacularly failing to catch rainbow trout - my name had come up.

Upon my return from a week off I was informed that at the Monday, June 20 council meeting – while I was sitting on a boat on Stuart Lake spectacularly failing to catch rainbow trout – my name had come up.

So I obtained a tape of the meeting and watched councillor Gerd Gottschling chide me for my May 25 editorial on the subject of the city’s hiring Ron Poole as its new municipal manager.

He quoted part of that editorial as follows:

“Another plus is the fact that his appointment is the unanimous choice of mayor and council. That means they can all take the credit, and conversely, cannot gripe about his hiring down the road.”

He then wondered how I came to that conclusion since the minutes of the behind-closed-doors meeting at which council decided to hire Poole “were obviously in-camera”.

Gottschling went on to say, “the statement was obviously untrue because there were several councillors that voted against it.”

And, in a roundabout way, asked if I had been told it was unanimous and if so by whom.

I am happy to respond to his questions.

I can reassure councillor Gottschling that no-one told me it was unanimous and I never saw any minutes of that meeting.

So how could I say it was unanimous?

Well, here I was guilty of thinking that two pus two equalled four.

In other words, given that not a single councillor had come forward in the wake of the announcement to express their displeasure, I was driven to the inevitable conclusion, based on the evidence, that the hiring was unanimous.

Clearly my simplistic logic failed to appreciate the more complex goings on at council in-camera meetings.

So I thank councillor Gottschling for his correction (though I can’t help wondering why he didn’t just pick up the phone) and freely admit my error.

And, my curiosity piqued by his revelation of dissension in the ranks, I have submitted a freedom of information request for the vote on the hiring of Poole.

I’ll let you know how that turns out.


Malcolm Baxter



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