This is what happens when you don’t play by Doug Craig’s rules…

By  | November 16, 2016 | 16 Comments | Filed under: Cambridge Council 2016

Cambridge councillor’s closed-door presence comes to an end

 kicked out

Cambridge Times

CAMBRIDGE- A proposal to amend council’s procedural bylaw set off a virtual firestorm of “bad faith” and mistrust allegations, along with counter claims and alternative explanations on Tuesday (Nov. 15) evening.
The motion, brought forward by Coun. Frank Monteiro and approved 5-4, would see councillors banned from observing in-camera committee meeting unless they’re specifically appointed by council to sit on that board.
There’s currently nothing in council’s procedural bylaw that prevents councillors from attending, for example, the behind-closed-door discussions being had by the multiplex site assessment task force as it works toward making a location recommendation to council.
However, to do so goes against Robert’s Rules of Order – a procedural guideline often used by governments and agencies, including police, outlining how meetings could be operated.
Following up on a concern he had about the task force example used above, Monteiro says his motion is intended to put a stop to a behaviour he understood to go against generally accepted rules already in place.
“This is not new. Robert’s Rules has been there all along,” said Monteiro, a retired police officer and chair of the previous multiplex task force.
“A councillor that doesn’t belong … should not be there because it gives you the perception he’s there for a reason.

“Are (committee members) influenced by that person?” Monteiro pondered of committees.

Coun. Jan Liggett, the councillor who attended in-camera task force meetings, however believes it is a direct attack on her.
“This is about the sportsplex. This isn’t about the procedural bylaw,” she said. “It sounds like you don’t trust my intentions.
“We have to ask ourselves if this motion … is being done in the best interest of the community or in bad faith.”
This debate has been raging for a while behind the scenes, according to Liggett.

After attending her first in-camera task force session, she says she received an email from a fellow council member explaining that wasn’t allowed.
However, through a follow-up inquiry with the city clerk she learned there’s nothing in the procedural bylaw against it.
At the next meeting, Liggett says she was prevented from entering until she confronted her alleged blockers with the clerk’s emailed explanation.
“A member of this council turned and called me a ‘nasty person’ publicly,” she said, fighting back tears. “I’m angry you put me in this position.”
Craig, countered Liggett’s claim she was barred from entering the meeting, insisting no one tried to stop her. He followed that up by accusing the councillor of “not simply observing” by taking confidential materials home and communicating with a task force member.
“It’s tainting a committee,” Craig said of councillors attending in-camera sessions, stating he wouldn’t do that. Nor, he said, would he register as a delegate and make a presentation to a committee.
“That taints a committee. too.”
That comment follows a recent presentation to the multiplex task force by Coun. Nicholas Ermeta, who brought forward alternative design considerations and noted his desire for the facility to be centrally located.
“It would be nice to know how the committee arrived at their decision,” noted Ermeta, speaking in opposition to the proposed procedural bylaw amendment.
“To me, this is about transparency. … It’s an integrity issue.
“We should be out trying to learn as much as we can.”
Members of city committees don’t want council members there, beyond who’s appointed to attend, claimed Coun. Donna Reid, a council appointee on the multiplex task force.
She cited a 2012 survey of committee members, who favoured having one council representative on their respective boards rather than two.
“It isn’t important to actually be at an in-camera meeting in order to help the city,” Reid said, explaining she was approached by a task force member who expressed discomfort at having an non-appointed councillor sit in.
“For all of us to be attending these meetings does not make it better, it makes it worse in my opinion.”
In support of the amendment, Reid explained councillors have access to minutes of the meetings and can speak with city staff or appointed council members to gain a perspective of what went on.
“We need to know and we need to understand what is happening in committees and we do,” she said.
Not everyone on council agrees information should be capped at that.
“It’s against democracy,” Coun. Mike Devine, the second council appointee on the multiplex task force, said of Monteiro’s motion. “We need to turn it down to the betterment of citizens of this community.”
Several members of the public, who spoke before council members launched into their debate, also concur.
“As citizens, we expect (councillors) to be knowledgeable,” commented Rande Keffer, calling the amendment an “attack on democracy” that strips away “clear and ethically responsible” decisions.
“I want my councillor fully informed on any issue,” added Gerald Riley, who called the perceived need for the amendment a “failure of leadership”.
“This council has serious problems.”
No one from the public spoke in favour of Monteiro’s proposed amendment.
Devine credited Liggett for wanting to learn as much as she can before council makes a decision on where to build the $78 million facility.
“I don’t see anything positive from this motion,” he added. “I think it’s divisive what’s going on here.”
Concerns were also raised that if multiple councillors decide to attend an in-camera session it could be interpreted as an illegal council meeting.




You’re going to have to be even more creative next election if you hope to win in 2018..

Maybe cut some more polls.. create long lines, you know the drill….




16 Responses to This is what happens when you don’t play by Doug Craig’s rules…

    Gloria November 16, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    It seems that the voices of the paying residents are not being heard…once again! It’s Craig’s way or the highway. This is the reason why terms limits should be set…move on or move out after two terms…otherwise it gets to a persons ego and they think that they have full control and no accountability.

      Rande November 18, 2016 at 8:04 am

      We need to make these elected officials accountable to the taxpayers ad not accountable to Major Mouse

    Tom Vann November 16, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    It was a shameful display of ignorance by the puppets that voted for this. I believe Frank was groomed for this proposal. Shannon stood out and deserves credit. Mike Mann was an embarrassment and lacks credibility. Can he not go into the “When I was a cop” routine for the 65th time. Nobody will confuse him with a hard working councillor like Liggett. I have the worst council member in history with Reed. I see visions of her asking Doug how to vote. She is an NDP destroyer. No damn wonder the NDP have been in tatters with Pam and her on board. These people are ruining our city and must be turfed.

      Rande November 18, 2016 at 8:03 am

      Tom, I totally agree with you. Shannon too the high road here and was the only Councillor that had the common sense to listen to reason and to voice his opinion on the subject. I was at the Task Force Meeting on Wednesday evening and after the meeting went over to him personally and commended him for what he did.
      As for Frankie, well he is just out to lunch on this one. He needs to engage his brain instead of his mouth.
      He makes allegations and has the public thinking that Jan does things that she should not when in fact that is totally untrue . How could he do that? Oh I guess if you are an ex-cop you can make allegations that aren’t true.
      Most of the members of this Council need to be removed and I am sure that will happen in 2018. It can’t come fast enough.
      We need to elect officials that truly to listen to the public and don’t keep us in the dark and feed us B.S.

    Rene November 16, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    I saw the news and was disgusted with the sad state of affairs. Frank is an embarrassment to this city and his roots. Typical cop.

      Rande November 18, 2016 at 7:58 am

      Frank needs to be dealt with because he puts his mouth in gear before his brain can engage.
      He made allegations at the Council meeting that his peer took documents from the closed door meeting.
      Those documents were available for the taking and that did not come up at all in Council.
      He has no right accusing someone of something like that and as far as I am concerned its a false allegation and I told him so much in an email that I sent to him.
      He may have been a cop but unless he has concrete proof of his allegations he is treading on thin ice for sure.

    Rande November 17, 2016 at 10:13 am

    This whole meeting was truly a a’witch hunt’ and nothing more against Jan Liggett. I was proud of Shannon Adshade as well as Nicholas Ermeta who both stood up to Major Mouse!!
    I find it really interesting that a fellow by the name of Bob Williams who has researched items of this sorts stated on the local CBC radio station that this whole motion is unnecessary because no motions can be brought forward in committee or task force meetings and only recommendations are made.
    Monterio and Mann the two cops on Council like to refer to Roberts Rules which incidentally was originally instituted in 1915 for procedures regarding meetings etc. Our Council uses Roberts Rules for certain things but they also have to follow the Municipal Act. Looks like on Tuesday night the Municipal Act went by the wayside and all of a sudden Roberts Rules had to apply..Don’t you just love it how our council can flip flop from one set of rules to another
    Oh yes and Major Mouse was out of line when he directed a remark to a resident in the audience and with that in mind I am going to challenge his code of conduct and launch a complaint against him. Major Mouse does not have to like me because I feel that he needs to lead by example.

      Gloria November 17, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      Kudos to you Rande for going after the code of conduct…I feel the same as you about the lack of professionalism that our Mayor shows while sitting at his “throne”. He says he has no more rights than the councillors and yet he bullies and yells at them and belittles them in public if they disagree with him or make a true accusation against him. He’s made them fear going against him which allows him to continue his rule of fear, greed, ego, dishonesty and obscurity of transparency. Only Craig rules apply. He’s just mad that people are figuring him out and he is losing control. This motion only feeds the fire…huge mistake on his part.

  5. Sandra Hill November 17, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    FYI – The City of Cambridge does not have a policy or procedures in place under Robert’s Rule but the upper tier Region of Waterloo does follow the law of Robert’s Rule.
    Funny a few months back I made a complaint to the Region of Waterloo Lawyer with respect to the City’s unlawful planning committee actions (Clerk/Reid) to not allow me to speak at the public meeting. Whereas. under Robert’s Rule the Council or Committee cannot stop any of us from speaking at a public meeting.
    Now the City Council is trying to blindside the public and mandate the City Council does follow Robert’s Rule.
    I need one of you to email Mayor D Craig and Gary Dyke and confirm if they have in writing that they follow Roberts Rule and where can we find this on their website or are they following the upper tier procedural public meeting by-law?

    Second FYI

    According to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), discipline could include censure, fine, suspension, or expulsion. The officers may be removed from their position, including the position of the chair.
    Current Mayor Craig is under investigation over all of us demanding he step down from the task force which he was illegally voting and made comments.
    If found guilty he will be suspended for 90 days without pay and may receive a fine.

    Sandra Hill

    Rene November 17, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    The airwaves and TV are full of this topic. I’m a card carrying Conservative and I can tell you that he will never get my vote for Mayor or our party. He is now showing his true colors. At one time I thought he had a shot at a higher office. Not anymore. He sits on our Conservative board and at our next meeting I will be mentioning his stance on council. Mike can hide behind Roberts rule all he wants. He is wrong period.I may well toss my membership card on the table as well. Poor example Mr. Mann. Time to retire.

      Bozo November 17, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      good idea
      a few cards tossed into the fire might light another one
      shameless people bring shame to others

  7. Uwe Kretschmann November 17, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    As I pointed out on other sites, it is ILLEGAL to bar members of council from attending ANY meeting.
    There is NOTHING in the municipal act which in the slightest would suggest, under any circumstances, that a duly elected Councillor can be barred from council meetings, committee meetings or task force meetings, closed or open, PERIOD.

    The municipal act is a PERMISSIVE act, meaning, if it is not specifically spelled out in the act then a municipality or council cannot do it. And council cannot use the Roberts rules of procedure, or the procedural bylaw or the code of conduct to circumvent the municipal act!

    Further, this is NOT an issue of confidentiality or trust.

    The section of the municipal act dealing with items which MAY be discussed behind closed doors is very specific.

    The word ” MAY ” is critical, in that it clearly leaves the decision as to what constitutes a closed door item to the interpretation of the individual council member.

    In my years as a Cambridge Councillor and a public school board trustee, I ” leaked ” many an item to the Cambridge Times and the KW Record.

    In all cases they were items which were embarrassing to council or the board, meaning, although the item(s) fell under the guidelines of the municipal act or education act, they did not pass my smell test.

    To make my point more succinct, Waterloo council passed a $ 1.3 million dollar budget item, discussed and voted on behind closed doors.

    I find it interesting that the Mayor, Doug Craig and the Councillors who supported the motion, think that they, and only they, have a right to define confidentiality and trust.

    In short, they have become judge, jury and hangman.

    The fact is that they have politicized open and accountable government and used bully tactics to shut down legitimate critical disagreement.

      Rande November 18, 2016 at 7:47 am

      I applaud the things you say here and just wish you also would have been a delegate to Council on Tuesday evening when all this went down.
      Major Mouse Craig is a bully and I really and truly think this decision that got voted on was a ‘witch hunt’ against Jan Liggett and that no matter what was said by residents of the City the vote would have gone the way it did.
      The residents need to take a stand against him and this Council needs to cut the strings and start to think for themselves and for the good of the community

    Tom Vann November 17, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    I was at this meeting and was so ashamed of a woman that lied in court and was actually trying to convince the people of Cambridge about proper rules and order. Win at all cost (soul included). It’s like telling people to please not drink and drive in our community but the rules don’t apply to her. What the hell kind of person is this woman we have on council? Funny, Donna (that looks like Elton John’s sister to me)would want to go by a 100 year old tent city rule rather than use common sense. Seems if it doesn’t have a gay rights banner or bra waver label on it she won’t get behind it. Manipulation in politics is bad for the people.

      Rande November 18, 2016 at 7:53 am

      Maybe that fact about Pam Wolfe and her drunk driving charge needs to be bought forth to the public once again and let everyone know that she seems to sit on Council like a ‘saint’ who can do no wrong. She was just spewing from her seat on Tuesday.
      It seems so funny that all of a sudden on Tuesday night we hear ‘Robert’s Rules’ getting tossed around the horseshoe (kinda like horse shit being tossed around). Seems they liked using that for that particular meeting and giving the audience the impression that our Council follows this rule.
      I like the fact that Council can just bring up any ‘Rule’ they want and say that’s what we follow when in effect they don’t truly follow that rule anyway.
      Major Mouse needs to be taken off the ‘throne’ and tossed into the mouse trap for a change so he gets a taste of his own medicine.

    Maggie Smith November 18, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    I just read an article by Craig Norris, Morning Show – and Bob Williams, a Retired Political Sciences Professor says this Motion that Monteiro & 4 non-thinking Councillors voted for (Craig doesn’t count as he put them up to this) – but Williams says this is “superfluous, if not overstepping the bounds” And he also said there COULD BE CONSEQUENCES in trying to limit involvement that could interfere with effective decision making” – which is what one Councillor was trying to do – be informed so the right choice can be made.
    Craig, Monteiro, Donna Craig, Mann, Wolfe – you are not thinking – you are following orders – Craig’s orders. Wake up and think for yourselves. At least Adshade has done that & that is so refreshing to see.
    You are voted in to work for your Wards – not for the Mayor. He should lead not give demanding orders – like “my way or no way” –
    do your job right and I look forward to the consequences that Bob Williams says are there waiting for you. Disgusting Motion and actions by you.

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