We were wrong
We thought with City Council has wrapped up for the year that things would slow down at City Hall (and here at Save Calgary).
We were wrong.
This morning, it turns out that City Council made a serious mistake in kicking out Ward 11 Councillor Jeromy Farkas over social media postings he made about a potential salary increase for City Councillors.
Statistics Canada's monthly data for September 2018 confirms what Jeromy said at City Council earlier this week - namely, that City Councillors will receive a salary increase for 2019.
On the basis of those comments, City Council voted 14-1 to eject Councillor Farkas from the rest of that day's City Council session.
Today, the Chief Financial Officer apologized for the "confusion" regarding Council pay and said that she'd have more information about it in the New Year.
Several questions present themselves about this whole sorry situation.
- The policy governing City Council pay increases and decreases has been in place since 2012 - how is it possible that now 6 years later there is "confusion" about how the policy is implemented?
- Quite clearly, Councillor Jeromy Farkas was entirely right when he said the data was showing that City Councillors were in-line for a pay increase. Why did City Council rush to kick him out when he was right?
- Given the fact that the misinformation provided by the CFO was directly responsible for Councillor Farkas' eviction, what will be the consequence for the CFO?
- Will City Council offer a full and complete apology to Councillor Farkas for their hasty and - as it turns out - incorrect action?
The individual who most needs to apologize is, quite clearly, Mayor Nenshi, who led the charge to boot Councillor Farkas from Council. He decried the posting of "misinformation" ("misinformation" which turned out to be completely correct) and said that actions have consequences.
We agree with the Mayor that actions have consequences - his mistaken action should have the consequence of the Mayor apologizing for his comments.
The Mayor needs to recognize his own failure of leadership on this matter, and accept that his City Hall-sized ego - and personal dislike of Jeromy Farkas - are the real reason why he rushed to judgment and impugned a City Councillor who was acting in the best interests of not only his own constituents but all of the taxpayers of Calgary.
If you believe the Mayor should apologize and end his petty war with Councillor Farkas, then we urge you to tell him what you think by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, we at Save Calgary are pleased to say what we know to be true:
Jeromy Was Right.
Let's hope that the rest of Council comes to this same conclusion and offers their apologies for wrongly kicking him out of that Council meeting.