A motion is coming, “the workplace sanctions previously imposed against Mayor Mike Bradley shall be lifted immediately. This includes restoring the Mayors ability to communicate directly with City staff, his ability to freely access City Hall at any time and the removal of the wall.”
This is a complicated motion because it mixes rhetoric, rumour and truth, so let me try and explain.
1) I’ll start with what I agree to; I would vote in favour of allowing staff to speak to him now that he has taken the provincially legislated mandatory training with us. I would also be in favour of the mayor having 24hr access to the public parts of city hall and to his office only (he under no circumstances should have access to anything but his own office). We all hope that Mayor Bradley has learned his lessons and will not direct staff on his own and will treat them with respect at all times. The tension is very high at city hall right now, and so he needs to go above and beyond to learn how to be kind and respectful in his interactions. I hope that staff maintains the courage to speak up if he continues his patterns so we can deal with it swiftly.
2) Now, the mayor aside, one of the things repeated in our training yesterday was that employers are responsible for safe workplaces and due diligence in responding to all complaints of workplace harassment. And by responsible, I mean to the tune of $1.5 million as a fine for a single offence if the employer fails to do so, and this does not include the lawyer fees that would be accumulated. There are a multitude of examples of employers failing to do this and being charged.
3) I explain #2, because what people call a “wall” (along with the access cards and cameras) is simply what every modern municipality has done to separate the political wing from the operations wing within city halls. There are many reasons for this, and one of them is to avoid the two worlds colliding in ways that they should not (and unfortunately did often in Sarnia), hence due diligence in preventing workplace harassment.
4) Which means the “wall” has nothing to do with the mayor at all. It makes no sense to include it in this motion. He was the straw on the camel’s back that forced the city to finally get caught up to modern standards of security and separation of distinct roles and responsibilities. All councilors and the mayor should have a different section of the building regardless of who fills those roles.
So as the motion stands, I can’t see myself voting for it, but if there can be an amendment made then I could.