98 The Beach

98 The Beach

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Drama Over Procedural Bylaw During Saugeen Shores Council

Saugeen Shores | by John Divinski  

John Mann got around the procedural bylaw where a person cannot speak on the same subject within 6 months

John Mann with a vacated council 

Saugeen Shores Committee of the Whole meeting got off to a bumpy start Monday night.

Less than 10-minutes into the meeting, citizen John Mann got up to speak on waterfront revitalization during Open Forum and was stopped in his tracks by Mayor Luke Charbonneau, citing the procedural bylaw that states a person cannot speak on the same subject until 6 months has expired.

With Charbonneau asking Mann to sit down and Mann standing his ground, the mayor called a recess of the meeting.

John Mann says the rules "are just nonsense."

Mayor Luke Charbonneau says "My job is to enforce the procedural bylaw and that's what I will do consistently."

After a 10-minute recess, Mann got to speak after all as Councillor Dave Myette rose on a point of order asking council to allow Mann to speak.

It passed, 6-2 with Mayor Charbonneau and Deputy Mayor Don Matheson, voting against.

In an interview, Mann said, "This procedural swamp that we're in needs to be repealed.  We have a fundamental right to speak to them (council) and they're stopping us."

Mann ultimately spoke on a fear that decisions on the waterfront revitalization were now in the hands of staff rather than councillors, although CAO David Smith indicated later in the meeting that all major decisions on the project will come back to council for their approval.

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