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COMMENTARY · 26th April 2012
Walter McFarlane
The new Council is getting along well for the most part. However, any harmony which they have achieved is being undermined by the actions of Mayor Joanne Monaghan. Since January, at least once per meeting, she has acted in the role of the bully, noticeably mocking a Councillor when they make a mistake.

The first incident happened at the beginning of the year. Councillor Mario Feldhoff does not make mistakes often, but missed the call for new business items. When he apologized to Council for making the mistake, Monaghan, in a snarky voice, told him she was sorry he was sleeping.

A similar incident happened last month when presenter needed some extra time to set up his equipment. The call for new business came before the presentation and new business arose from the presentation. Feldhoff was once again attacked for trying to add New Business to the Meeting after the opportunity had gone by, although this part of the meeting had been out of order.

During the last regular meeting on April 16th, Monaghan’s timing apparatus appeared to favour Enbridge. That matter has been reported on. However, one of the City Councillors, Corrine Scott arrived late to the meeting without explanation. She received quite the long glair from the Mayor.

However, all of this is trivial compared to the mayoral flubs and disrespect to the Communities elected Councillors at the Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, April 23rd.

During the meeting, it was clear the Mayor wanted to race through to the end of the meeting. At times, she tried to call motions before Councillors could speak on them. There were several moments in the meeting where Councillor Corrine Scott was skipped over entirely even though she had raised her hand to speak to a motion.

When Councillor Rob Goffinet wished to speak when Monaghan tried to call the question prematurely, he asked for discussion. Monaghan told him she can not read his mind and he apologized for not being prompt despite the fact there were two seconds between the motion being seconded and called.

At one point, a motion was raced to conclusion so fast, Scott had her hand raised to speak to the motion and it was counted as being a vote in favour of the motion. Council did not go back to let her speak.

When Goffinet disagreed with using the word ‘may,’ over ‘could,’ Monaghan rudely interrupted him with a statement: “You know, I’m the one that’s sending this letter and I’m not even going to send it pretty soon.”

Goffinet argued he is trying to keep the letter above her name the same as it was presented to Council. She told him right back: “I didn’t want it that way.” He expressed he did not know this and he was assuming it was a valid document.

While Joanne Monaghan is the Mayor, she is supposed to follow the will of Council. They direct her. If Council directs her to send a letter on their behalf, she has to send it. However, the exchange between Goffinet and Monaghan was not quite over yet.

“If I appear testy, I apologize,” said Goffinet

“You are,” replied Monaghan.

When she called this question, she sounded annoyed asking: “Who might want may put in there?”

When it failed, she stated: “You guys, I’m the one who has to put my name on this. Pretty soon, it’s going to be you guys who put it on.”

Councillor Phil Germuth said he would be happy to do that.

When the letter was finally called and carried, Monaghan had one final statement. “I’ve never had such a hard time writing a letter in my life.”

Are you shocked?
Comment by Rory Brown on 1st May 2012
This should come as no suprise to anyone that Monaghan treats people with little or no respect. Look how she treated the CO. Or how about the way she spoke to a judge. "Throw me in jail, I'll take a computer course". The world is looking at our town, and you are once again embarrassing yourself, and the citizens of Kitimat.
Comment by LINDA HALYK on 26th April 2012
You are not writing the letter personally the council is. Maybe Mayor you should have attended the free Mayors & Council sessions at the beginning of your first term.

You may have learned some manners, this is not a dictatorship, show some respect.

Walter forgot to mention the Phil Germuth incident early on in the year where he wasn't allowed to speak to his motion before Feldhoff was speaking against it.
For someone who has been around for as long as you, you should know policy and follow it.