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During the break at the Council meeting of February 26, a member of the public took issue with the truthfulness of one of the presenters. Although the person I mention was not one of the delegation presenters, he was opposed to the loss of rental housing for short-term rentals (Air BnB’s) at the Bradshaw Lofts. In a recent letter to us, that person described what happened: after confronting the presenter for Bradshaw, the person said loudly to his wife, “Somebody ought to knock his block off.” That person has now been banned by City staff, and is receiving legal advice.

The person who spoke was not Mike Sullivan. Mike had already left.

Every member of Council knows this, and they know that Mike Sullivan did not threaten violence. Any member of Council who tells you that Mike Sullivan was violent, incited violence, or spoke violent words on that night is running the risk of being sued for slander.

You can go here to learn about Mike’s presentations on that night. Follow the links to the video; there’s some humour, but no violence or violent language. You can check the transcript of the meeting as well. While you’re at it, you might want to check it against what the City is accusing Mike of saying.

We’ve received a long and somewhat muddled document from the City’s lawyer. We’re still sorting it all out, but let’s just look at the very first point for an example. The document paints Mike as someone who bullies staff. There is no evidence for this, and what is presented as evidence is often taken out of context, as in the deceptive quotation used below. See the transcript version on the right, which clearly shows that Mike is criticizing Council, not the clerk.:

Quoted by the City’s Lawyer
Comments of Mike Sullivan
February 26, 2024 Meeting:11



“…who is responsible for creating the mess in the first place, the Clerk creates the agenda for each meeting including determining which items should be in-camera.”


 

From the meeting transcript:

There is no penalty in law for Council’s misbehaviour. You should call it misbehaviour. But who is responsible for creating the mess in the first place? The clerk creates the agenda.for each meeting, including determining which items should been in camera. It is then up to Council to decide whether to follow the clerk’s agenda or to move items off the in-camera agenda and discuss items in public. (See video, 30:15)

City argues that the clerk does not set the agenda by herself, and makes the accusation that Mike is singling her out for censure: “The Clerk does not determine the matters that should be considered at closed session. The Clerk in consultation with senior leadership prepares the meeting agenda. Council by way of a motion confirms that it will be going to an in-camera meeting.” However, it is immaterial whether the Clerk has help in setting the agenda; the point is that Mike is not criticizing the Clerk, he is criticizing Council, as can be plainly seen in the full quote.

I could go on in detail, but I’m not writing a book. The main point, though, is this: Get Concerned Stratford has been working for over three years to stop illegal, undemocratic, and secret in-camera meetings. We raised funds to allow us to continue investigating what went on in the lead-up to the Xinyi episode, and we found out that this behaviour is still going on. Mike has worked tirelessly to get that information out to the pubic, and to convince Council that they must do better.

It’s not yesterday’s news; it is affecting us every day.

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