By RTH Staff
Published October 05, 2011
this blog entry has been updated
At 3:17 PM today, after Mayor Bob Bratina officially endorsed the Ontario Liberal Party, Ward 8 Councillor Terry Whitehead sent the following email to local media:
The mayor today endorsed the Provincial Liberal government and has entrenched himself into partisan politics. I respect his personal choice; however, since the Mayor mistakenly accused me of partisanship politics and stated it had no place on the Fairness to Hamilton Committee, I would ask the Mayor to do the honourable thing and resign from the committee.
Three hours later, Mayor Bratina sent out the following reply:
Councillor Whitehead has failed to grasp the issue that confronted the "Fairness to Hamilton" committee when I asked for clarification of his situation regarding support of a candidate who was running against Minister Aggelonitis.
Several people had stated that Councillor Whitehead was managing the campaign of Monique Taylor, who was the announced NDP candidate in Minister Aggelonitis' riding. If that were the case, he would be in a conflict in terms of deciding on issues being brought forward to the minister. In such an event, my advice to the Committee was that the Councillor should step down until after the election. Councillor Whitehead subsequently stated that he was not managing or otherwise assisting Ms Taylor's campaign so no conflict existed.
That matter does not relate to my position on the Provincial election. The committee will not be meeting until after the election. This is the second inaccurate and unfortunate public statement made by Councillor Whitehead on this matter. The first one used the phrase "speaking out of both sides of his mouth" in a comment to Emma Reilly of the Spectator for which he privately apologized. However he did not correct himself publicly to that reporter or anyone else.
I'm asking Councillor Whitehead to apologize publicly for the dishonourable statement he made and commit to working in an open and positive way with the Mayor and Council in the best interests of the City.
Twenty minutes later, Whitehead replied:
The Mayor made his comments without attempting to contact me by phone or e-mail before the Fairness committee convened. He chose to raise the issue without talking to Monique Taylor to determine any validity to his concerns. The Mayor chose to raise the issue as a matter of public record in my absence. I asked him to apologize for his irresponsible assertions and to correct the public record. He said he would do both; however, an apology was never offered.
Further, the Mayor stated personally to me that the committee should be a non-partisan committee. I agreed. At no time did he suggest his position would expire at the end of the election.
I respect the role of Mayor and suggest that if he truly wants to work in a positive fashion with his council, the Mayor should talk to them first before issuing erroneous statements. Good Mayors recognize when they make mistakes and apologize for it. I am still waiting!
Update: this blog entry originally stated that Terry Whitehead is the Councillor for Ward 7. He is actually the Councillor for Ward 8. You can jump to the changed paragraph.
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