LETTER: Reader criticizes councillors’ behaviour

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Editor: As I sat through the 18 deputations that were read in council chambers Jan. 15, I couldn’t help but notice the incredibly disrespectful behaviour I witnessed.

Councillors were looking at their cell phones, texting, laughing, talking, and whispering while I watched concerned citizens of this community stand at the podium and plead with council to listen to their concerns.

This is not the first time I have witnessed this type of behaviour by councillors. I am appalled that nothing is being said or done about it.

I have heard the mayor speak many times about respect in council chambers, but he was asking for citizens to act in a respectful manner. Whose job is it to reprimand municipal councillors for their disrespect? Is it the mayor’s job? Is it the CAO’s? Is it the integrity officer’s job? Or is it left up to the citizens who vote for councillors every four years?

I would like to remind all citizens of the municipality just how important your vote is at the local level. The vote on Monday night to purchase the Sears building is a perfect example of the failure of this community to elect responsible councillors who vote as the people wish. Our pleas were ignored Monday night and council (again, mind you) pushed through their own agendas.

With a dismal voter turnout at the last municipal election in October 2022 of 30 per cent, it is no wonder that the will of the people is being ignored.

I would also like to remind councillors that if you think deputations are a joke and that you don’t have to listen thoughtfully to constituents about their concerns, then you are not doing your job and I encourage you to resign so someone who does care about this community can sit up there at that table. I know many citizens of Chatham-Kent who would gladly trade places with you and have a vote on important issues that matter to our community.

Sheila Martin

Chatham

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