Watson and his Bullying Ways

Mayor Jim Watson has used his considerable power to force well-known Conservative Mike Patton out of city hall.

Patton was recently let go from the office of Gloucester-South Nepean Coun. Carol Anne Meehan.

“Carol Anne felt I was doing more harm in her office than helping her, that I had become a lightning rod attracting attention from the mayor,” Patton told On the City, From the Burbs.

Patton made it clear he has absolutely no bad feelings toward his former boss and understands she felt she had no real alternative but to let him go, given the extraordinary pressure from Watson and his office.

So what exactly did Patton do to deserve the mayor’s wrath?

“Well, I don’t know of another person he dislikes more than me,” Patton said.
And sadly, it’s as simple as that.
Watson despises Patton and forced him out by putting undue pressure on Meehan.

“I feel terrible for Carol Anne. She’s trying to do the best for her community. That’s all she’s trying to do. She just wants to work in the best interests of her community. And I admire that,” Patton said. “She did the right thing and I don’t think there was any real alternative.”

He said Watson was just making Meehan’s life too difficult, putting up roadblocks at every turn, making it clear to her Patton had to go if things were ever going to go in her favour.
“Jim Watson wants to be totally in control. It’s very much his vision and his vision alone. And that’s what’s being enacted at city hall right now. And it will remain that way and most of council is willing to go along with him most of the time,” Patton said.
“He believes I was giving her advice that was causing her to be willingly defiant.”

This story might be difficult for city hall outsiders to understand. Clearly, the mayor isn’t Meehan’s boss. But at city hall, he wields a tremendous amount of power – and being the absolute control freak he is – he abuses it. He essentially controls the bureaucracy and controls the budget. Yes, he’s just one vote, but with the support of council – what he wants wins out.

This isn’t the first time Watson has worked against Patton. In 2010, Watson worked against Patton when he was running in River ward against then newcomer Riley Brockington.

Patton isn’t new to city hall. He worked for College Coun. Rick Chiarelli and also for former mayor Larry O’Brien.
He said under O’Brien, great and vigorous debate was encouraged.
“That’s not the way Jim Watson approaches the word,” Patton said.
“In his business model, he’s like a classic bully, he’s very much a bully. He held me responsible for any opposition to his agenda.”

Comparing O’Brien to Watson, Patton said major projects like Lansdowne Park wouldn’t have happened without the maverick mayor.
“But Jim Watson isn’t naturally a creative person. He doesn’t have new ideas and really is only interested in managing,” Patton continued.

Understandably, Meehan isn’t talking about the dismissal. She’s in the proverbial rock and a hard place.
But if you think she had a choice, you’re being naive.
She was elected to represent the residents of Gloucester-South Nepean – and with Watson fighting her at each and every turn – that simply wasn’t going to happen.

The mayor should be ashamed of himself. He won’t be.
And for the record, Watson does not return requests for interviews from this blog – and has made it clear there’s just no point in asking.

3 Comments

  1. The thought that each elected person on Council isn’t deamed equally important is so terrible. This stops new ideas, thinking out of the box, creative thoughts and ideas being shared. It is so much easier to just allow one person to do the thinking and agree with them – saves you from having to think, and to see the full implications of an idea is so that it is the best decision for our city. There are such a variety of people elected, it is sad to see the potential that all these people have, to do the best for our city. I would like to hear Jim’s reason for not liking Mike – he might have a good reason.

  2. Our current mayor’s method of governing is a perfect reason why Doug Ford should step in and reduce our council size. Most of these councillors for life haven’t contributed anything in years. They are quite satisfied to get re-elected on name recognition, then sit back and let the mayor do his thing. They are a complete and utter waste of taxpayer dollars.
    Several years ago, Watson was all for reducing the size of council. It’s easy to see why – fewer people he would need to bully to get his way.
    Since the voters of Ottawa have loudly proclaimed the Watson’s style is their preferred governance model, we should get Ford to get rid of half of his cabal. Watson wouldn’t get his way much more frequently than he does now and we would save a great deal of money.

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