Pretty sure city treasurer Marian Simulik has much more important things to do at Ottawa City Hall than send emails to city councillors about my blog. That being said, appreciate that my story about secrecy within the walls of city hall was deemed important enough to need dissing by someone as high up the hierarchy as Similuk herself
Yes, our municipal politicians are a paranoid bunch. But if you’re reading this blog, you likely already knew that.
The purpose of my most recent blog was to point out that when Mayor Jim Watson appeared to pull a rabbit out of his magical hat and announced found money on the day of the budget, some councillors already knew there was a surplus, others were kept in the dark.
But for some reason Similuk chose to do some bureaucrat bafflegab and ignore the message.
“The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify the timelines regarding the change in the forecasted results for the 2017 year-end, given the recent erroneous media reports regarding this matter,” Similuk wrote in an email to council dated Jan. 10.
Now, Similuk doesn’t name me, but since I’m the one who wrote about the timeline, the odds seem good. So Similuk is right about one thing. I did mistakenly write that Kanata Coun. Allan Hubley bragged in November about knowing well in advance of the city budget that there would a hefty surplus in the numbers. I knew he did his bragging in December, but wasn’t careful enough in my writing.
Mistakes are never okay. I don’t take it lightly. And I apologize to all of the readers.
I always think about Rick VanSickle, one of the finest editors I had at the Sun. He’d been reading a feature length article in the Citizen and couldn’t put it down, the story so well executed, the writing so beautifully crafted. Near the end of the story, he saw a spelling mistake in the name of one of the main personalities in the story. He talked about how it absolutely ruined the entire article for him.
He’s right of course. One mistake casts doubt on the entire article.
So with that in mind, I’m loathe to point out the obvious. But I feel I have to. As serious as any mistake is, it doesn’t change the reason for the article.
The point of the article was all about secrecy at city hall, about some city councillors being given information about the budget and others being left in the cold.
That in no way excuses the mistake.
But there’s also no excuse for favouring residents in one ward over another.
And that’s what’s happening at city hall.
When Mayor Jim Watson chooses to punish a city councillor by not including them in his inner circle, he’s freezing out that councillor’s residents. They’re his residents too of course.
And no amount of emails from the very talented Similuk will ever change that.