The following is my opinion based on observations of the July 14 meeting of city council as the meeting evolved into a transformative, iconic and transparent shedding of hypocrisy, apparently by accident.
Coun. Mark Signoretti asked for an apology from the mayor for not allowing him the opportunity to finish what he was saying on behalf of his constituents at a previous meeting. The mayor refused.
Coun. Michael Vagnini then spoke of the times his ability to speak had been cut off. The mayor rejected Vagnini’s comment.
The July 14 meeting, riddled with technical glitches throughout, resulted in some councillors, who did not vote during polling of the vote, being allowed to vote after polling was complete.
At a previous council meeting, a glitch in the virtual system resulted in Coun. Vagnini, believing he was voting against a deferral, erroneously cast his vote against studying a Project NOW proposal. He was not allowed a correction.
The value of Project NOW (a renovation of the existing Sudbury Arena), with a potential $40 million saving to taxpayers, was lost and remains lost, by one technical glitch and preferential voting practices when technical glitches occur.
The mayor’s responses and council voting practices have transformed the city into a corporation of subtle censorship of share-holder (constituents) input.
The project team for the Junction project has found a new word: iconic. Using iconic to describe a library is ludicrous and misleading. What might be iconic is the architecture. That architecture could equally be applied to real economic drivers, unrelated to libraries.
The presentation focused on, and some councillors adopted, iconic in the same manner as a child’s fascination with the word penis. Shame on a project team and councillors so readily fascinated by one word. In fairness, textbook demonstration of multiple physical maturities unmatched by mental maturities was a psychologically iconic moment.
The Integrity Commissioner demonstrated, beyond reasonable doubt, the bullying and harassment that is endemic in the city. For the third time, a councillor, afflicted with an honest nature, was bullied and harassed by a system allegedly established to prevent such actions for simply and without reservation, being honest.
Any doubts of the accuracy of Coun. Gerry Montpellier’s statements to the prime minister and The Sudbury Star were removed July 14, 2021.
Then came the Kingsway Entertainment District transparency. Coun. Signoretti politely requested information regarding the KED’s impact on the downtown core.
Passionate and almost violent reactions by councillors Al Sizer and Bill Leduc, claiming Signoretti only wanted the information to use it against the KED, confirmed that the information would be negative to the KED.
In the end, council – without letters of intent or surety bonds for the alleged financial rewards – approved proceeding with a second, stand-alone arena for the city; this one overlooking a landfill and a quarrying operation.
The approval was actually two approvals: approval to proceed on the KED as a stand-alone project; and approval of a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order for the downtown business community.
This is a new level of transparency.