By Andrea Arnold
McBride Council lifted sanctions put on Mayor Runtz during the previous term, with Councillor Smith opposed to removing the sanctions.
Those previously sitting on Council had put into place two sanctions: The first, that a councillor attend each of the Mayoral meetings along with Mayor Runtz, and the second, that a councillor monitor the Mayor’s emails to ensure messages were followed up on and information shared in a timely manner. The information about these sanctions were brought out of in-camera following the October 25th final Council meeting of the term. During the last term, Mayor Runtz was off work for months due to health reasons.
The current Council was presented with this information at the Nov 22 Council meeting. They were provided an opportunity to discuss and vote to either keep the rules in place or remove them.
Council first voted to rescind the sanction regarding a Councillor attending meetings with Mayor Runtz. Councillor Kolida asked CAO Tupy if a new motion could be written so council could make sure a representative was at all mayoral meetings, even when Mayor Runtz couldn’t be there. CAO Tupy said a new motion would be presented to Council at a future meeting.
Council then discussed the sanction regarding the mayor’s email. Councillor Smith gave examples of situations in the last term when emails were not responded to or forwarded in a timely manner, and the Village missed out on important information. She asked that the sanction be upheld. Councillor Kolida said that he would like to start fresh, and not lean on past situations. “If it becomes an issue, we can look at it again,” said Kolida.
CAO Tupy said that in many larger municipalities a village staff member is automatically forwarded all of the mayor’s incoming emails to make sure things are not missed. However, in McBride, they do not have the manpower in the office, so they would ask that a councillor step into this role.
Mayor Runtz moved to rescind the resolution. He said his email is his and he doesn’t want other people to be reading it.
“If I am forced to do it, I am not going to cooperate,” he said. “I don’t answer all of my emails all the time. If it is important, you can call me on the phone.”
Council voted in favour of removing the sanctions by a vote of 4-1.