Kings County council defeats motion to overrule warden

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Pauline Raven

Kings county council is off to an interesting start.  

Newly-elected councillor Pauline Raven asked about the report on the election from the returning officer that was referred to the Nov. 20 committee of the whole meeting.  

Chief administrative officer Bob Ashley said the report had been pulled because, the day following the referral motion, the municipality learned of the pending legal challenge.  

Raven said there shouldn't be any issue getting an update about the legal issue in camera later in the day because it qualifies as a legal matter.  

Warden Diana Brothers pointed out the municipality has received legal advice that the matter shouldn't be discussed in open session or in-camera in light of the pending legal action.  

Coun. Patricia Bishop moved to rule the chairwoman out of order and to have an in camera discussion of the matter.

Brothers pointed out a two-thirds majority vote would be needed to overrule the chairwoman.

Council defeated the motion to overrule the chairwoman by six votes to five.

Those who voted in favour included Bishop, Raven, Wayne Atwater, Brian Hirtle and Emma Van Rooyen.  

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  • WASTING TAXPAYERS TIME
    November 20, 2012 - 16:38

    This was an appalling waste of taxpayers time ("Those who voted in favour included Bishop, Raven, Wayne Atwater, Brian Hirtle and Emma Van Rooyen.")... should have done a little homework or better yet listened to the informed leadership of Warden Brothers. One would think that a public official, even the newest of councillors, would have sense enough to know that a matter before the courts cannot be the theme of a public discussion. Shameful waste of time. Get with the program folks, represent the people that elected you - even if they don't live in your district.

    • skip hambling
      November 22, 2012 - 12:49

      How can the pursuit of democracy ever be a waste of time? How can our councillors wanting to know exactly what is being done on our behalf to either promote or frustrate our democracy be a waste of time? The tired old excuse that an issue is before the courts and so is beyond discussion is a lawyer's trick to avoid dealing with issues they simply don't want to deal with. Certainly a desire by council to know what is being done in their name--which is to say our name--is not unreasonable. Indeed it should be considered "due diligence." Moreover, the request was NOT for an open public discussion. It was for an "in camera" session behind closed doors. The ruling to shut off all discussion was another move to infantalize the council and treat them all like pesky children who simply should leave important matters to their betters who always know best--just like Dad. The eleven women and men on our council are neither children nor fools. They are all grownups with enough smarts, gumption and drive to make the functioning of our democracy a personal priority--something too few of the rest of us will do. More power to them all. Any manouevre that short-circuits or frustrates their honest efforts to stay in the know and be the best council they can be does us all a disservice. The unfortunate recent history of Kings County councils has been to be a government in spite of the people, rather than for the people. The move by Warden Brothers to foreclose any discussion--public or private--on an issue that cannot help but impact us all in a big way is a sad sign that we are in for more of the same. All that will change, of course, should the courts rule to overturn the disqualifications and call for two new elections. An outcome, I am sure, that must be preying on Ms. Brothers mind. And that must certainly be a key motivation for the stonewall she and the council's solicitor are assiduously building to stifle any discussion of this issue. What Ms. Brothers fails to see is that the toothpaste is already out of the tube. A challenge is in the works. The public is deeply engaged. All her efforts to stuff that toothpaste back in the tube can only cast a shadow on the credibility of her stated motivations.