Merulla Notice of Motion to Censure Mayor

By RTH Staff
Published March 23, 2012

this blog entry has been updated

Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla intends to bring a motion to Council at next Wednesday's meeting calling for the formal censure of Mayor Bob Bratina for his actions related to the $30,000 raise granted to his Chief of Staff, Peggy Chapman.

Here is the full text of the motion:

Whereas, notwithstanding the Mayor's public apology to H.R. staff in December 2011, he has recently stated that the matter of monetary compensation to a member of his staff, was left to the outcome of a review by H.R.; and

Whereas, the Mayor attempted to direct that an investigation regarding the release of information to the media pertaining to a staff member in his office included on the "Sunshine List" be conducted, including a demand that staff provide signed affidavits, without any consultation with, or authorization by Council; and

Whereas, this Council believes these actions fall below the standards of conduct which are expected of a Member of Council.

Therefore Be It Resolved:

Council formally expresses its censure of Mayor Bratina for his conduct in this matter.

Update: On Wednesday, March 28, 2012, Council voted 15-1 to Censure Mayor Bratina. The vote was taken without any discussion after Councillor Merulla read the motion. Only Bratina voted against it.


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By BeulahAve (registered) | Posted March 23, 2012 at 16:54:36

Ok, I read that censuring the mayor would be an unprecedented action for Council, but what exactly would it mean? Does it mean that he will no longer be allowed to spew inananities and insanities? Or is it just a public reprimand? Are there any consequences?

I am confident that some RTH readers will know the answers.

Comment edited by BeulahAve on 2012-03-23 16:54:57

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By Bernie (anonymous) | Posted March 23, 2012 at 17:20:03

No real consequenses. This is all a dog and pony show

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted March 25, 2012 at 14:22:05

As others have pointed out, Councillor Dave Mitchell was censured by Council. He could not chair any committees and he could not serve as Deputy Mayor. Not sure what Council can do with the Mayor, but it's fairly clear we're about to find out.

I don't think the mayor chairs many committees, only GIC and Council. They may try to censure him from communicating directly with the media in writing on behalf of the Mayor's Office, and therefore the City of Hamilton. Not sure if they are able to censure him from running any GIC meetings, etc. It seems to be more symbolic, as far as I can tell. More detrimental to the reputation of the Office of the Mayor, and the person currently holding that office, than limiting in terms of behaviour. If anyone has more info about what's possible, please share.

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By Worried (anonymous) | Posted March 26, 2012 at 15:07:03

Whatever measure is taken, I can guarantee you the following will result:

- It will likely represent the full limit of what Council is *willing* to do about this matter and it will be their last real opportunity to censure the Mayor on this issue.

- Most citizens will be unhappy that the punishment did not go far enough

- Buoyed with a fresh "victim" card, Bratina will just shrug it off and lap up the sympathy

- Knowing that he has faced the worst of what Council is willing to do, Bratina will be far worse than he ever was.

- It's going to be a really rough 2.5 years.

I'm not saying I don't support censure. It needs to happen for Council to distance themselves from Bratina. I'm just worried that with so much time left in his term, there will be a lot more serious issues down the road, and giving Bratina the sense that he has nothing left to lose is dangerous.

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By Well (anonymous) | Posted March 26, 2012 at 19:23:01

Could be worse as in an asteroid is going to destroy all living species on Earth tomorrow.

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By Bernie (anonymous) | Posted March 26, 2012 at 21:36:15

Not sure that the majority think this is anything more than a smear campaign, don't care or are outraged but my first guess would be most don't care and it has no impact on most peoples view that council in general is incompetent and it doesn't matter who the mayor is

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted March 26, 2012 at 23:48:58

In his opinion piece today titled "Is Bratina's conduct unbecoming of mayor?", Spectator columnist Andrew Dreschel notes that Mayor Bratina is the Chair of the HECFI subcommittee. http://www.thespec.com/opinion/columns/a...

There are actually five members on the interim HECFI board: Mayor Bratina and Councillors Jason Farr, Chad Collins, Sam Merulla and Judi Partridge. http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/C6EF...

It is common knowledge that six bidders have applied to manage one or more of the HECFI facilities: 1. Katz Group/AEG (all 3 facilities); 2. Global Spectrum/Live Nation (all 3 facilities); 3. SMG/Forum Equity (all 3 facilities); 4. Carmen's/ Loren Leiberman (Hamilton Convention Centre only); 5. Vrancor (Hamilton Convention Centre only); 6. Sonic Unyon (Hamilton Place only). http://www.thespec.com/print/article/670...

A perusal of the 2010 Hamilton municipal election financial statements of the interim HECFI board members shows the following:

Mayor Bratina received a $250.00 contribution from Peter Mercanti, a $500.00 contribution from Sam Mercanti, and a $750.00 contribution from Darko Vranich; http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/65D8...

Councillor Farr received a $250.00 contribution from Carmen's Inc. (Peter Mercanti); http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/006C...

Councillor Merulla received a $150.00 contribution from Carmen's (Peter Mercanti and Joe Mercanti). http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/FFCE...

The only members of the interim HECFI board who did not receive a 2010 campaign contribution from anyone affiliated with one of the current bidders to manage one or more of the HECFI facilities are Councillors Collins and Partridge: http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/006C... http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/006C...

City staff is scheduled to present a report on the six bids to manage the HECFI facilities to city council at the GIC meeting on April 4, 2012. Do Mayor Bratina, Councillor Farr and Councillor Merulla have a conflict of interest on the HECFI bids? If so, should they abstain from voting on any motion to consider the HECFI bids at the HECFI board meetings and/or at GIC/city council meetings?

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By rednic (registered) | Posted March 27, 2012 at 00:15:12 in reply to Comment 75450


Loren Leiberman was very involved in Farr's campaign ... he told me he was in fact his campaign manager and was certainly canvassing for him

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted March 30, 2012 at 23:23:12

At the GIC meeting on February 15, 2012, Hamilton city council voted to direct city staff to evaluate the HECFI management bids and present a report at the April 4, 2012 GIC meeting. http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/00A5...

But the HECFI report is not listed on the Agenda for the April 4, 2012 GIC meeting. http://www.hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/C...

Does anyone have any information as to why the HECFI report is not on the Agenda for the upcoming GIC meeting?

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2012-03-30 23:24:05

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