Jeff Green | Aug 28, 2008
Editorial - August 28, 2008
Back toHomeEditorial - August 28, 2008 A cowardly councilEditorial by Jeff Green
Sitting on council is a thankless job, and members of North Frontenac Council deserve credit for the hours they put in at council and committee meetings. They are a hard-working bunch.
But they botched the job when it came to selecting a replacement councilor for Wayne Cole.
Even though councils are free to select replacement councilors in any way they see fit, the process should be reasonable and fair to all involved.
The first mistake came in July, when two people expressed interest in the position and it was decided there were not enough candidates.
Why are two candidates not enough? In each of the last two occasions when a council seat had been vacated, only one candidate came forward, and that person was sworn in with little muss or fuss. Ron Maguire was the mayor on both of those occasions.
The decision to re-advertise the vacancy was an insult to the two people who applied in the first instance.
Then, once the four candidates were found, and after they were interviewed in public by members of council, a kind of reverse voting system was chosen.
Instead of choosing their favourite candidate, councilors were asked to decide if each candidate was a suitable choice, and when a majority could not agree that a single candidate was suitable, that can't be seen as anything but an insult to the four people.
If that weren’t bad enough, a second vote was taken and again not one of the four people was considered acceptable by a majority of council.
At the end of all that, picking a name from a hat was a merciful end to a seriously flawed process.
Bernice Gunsinger, as well as Betty Hunter, Gleva Lemke, and Jim Bacon, deserve credit for putting their names forward to serve on council. They did not deserve the shabby treatment they received.
We wish Bernice Gunsinger well as Ward 2 councilor. She has already shown some perseverance in sitting through the election process.