The carnival of city hall

September 11, 2009 at 2:55 pm (News, Politics) (, )

It has been weeks since I was in Ottawa city council chambers, but I am hearing about the chaos and dysfunction all the way in Colombia. 

Mayor Larry O’Brien is back in his chair around the table, but it sounds like not much is being accomplished. Flooding in the west end isn’t being addressed properly, taxpayers will be hit with the bill for councillors’ decision to cancel the previous light rail transit plan, and everyone is talking about the mayor’s choice of Jasmine MacDonnell for his new communications director. 

Columnist Randall Denley is calling for a completely new slate of councillors to be elected next November. Here’s a little of what he had to say:

Not all councillors are immature and irrational, of course, but even the better councillors are disappointing. The few capable of leadership too seldom offer it and far too many sit on their hands contributing nothing, as if staying out of the worst nonsense constitutes a job well done.

The rot starts at the top, unfortunately. O’Brien’s return was a reminder of just how bad he is at managing a council meeting. This was a session with only two items and no major decisions to make, and yet it ran for more than 12 hours. That can’t possibly make sense. Typically, O’Brien failed to outline how council should proceed at the beginning of the session, didn’t keep control and wasn’t even in the chair for much of the meeting. The fact that he clearly does not respect some councillors and they don’t respect him just adds to the difficulty. During a break in the meeting, O’Brien came up to where the reporters sit and suggested some of his colleagues would benefit from an enema. Sound medical advice, but probably not the kind of gravitas one would expect from a mayor.

What do you think about the happenings in Andrew Haydon hall lately, and what do you hope the next municipal election will accomplish?



  1. Blair said,

    Everyone is talking about Larry O’Brien’s new communications director
    Which begs the question: Why?

  2. Cheryl said,

    I think it’s the “can’t look away from a train wreck” thing.

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