Bowman cracking down on councillors missing meetings
Published Tuesday, May 15, 2018 9:55AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, May 15, 2018 6:01PM CST
Mayor Brian Bowman says some city councillors aren't showing up for work.
"It's disappointing to hear when meetings can't be held because of lack of attendance by members of council," said Bowman.
The mayor tabled a motion at his Executive Policy Committee meeting to crack down on councillor absenteeism. He says unless a councillor is away on city business, a personal matter or is ill, their absence from a meeting will be noted as unauthorized.
"It is absolutely an accountability measure," said Bowman.
Prompting the measure, Councillor Jason Schreyer missed all five food council meetings this year plus a recent water and waste meeting that had to be cancelled.
Councillor Brian Mayes chairs both committees.
"As chair when people don't explain their absences to you, it gets a little tiresome, frankly, when you're trying to get work done," said Mayes.
But Schreyer says he can explain all his absences.
“It's just another surprising distortion," said Schreyer.
The Elmwood councillor says he was away for various reasons including two family matters, city business, community work and one family vacation.
"That was the only time this term I left the province not on city business," said Schreyer.
The Mayor singled out other councillors, pointing out Janice Lukes missed the same water and waste meeting to attend a developer’s conference. Lukes tells CTV News that was city business.
Bowman also highlighted Jeff Browaty's absence from the council meeting in January for a vacation in Mexico.
Browaty says the meeting date for the council meeting changed after he'd booked the vacation in September. Browaty says he supports Bowman's motion.
"You shouldn't be missing council meetings haphazardly and I never have and I have no problem with the public knowing a stated reason for being absent," said Browaty.
The motion will be reviewed by the city's governance committee.