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TBM mayor, deputy argue with county council over meeting minutes

The local representatives argued the minutes didn't accurately reflect a dispute between Mayor Soever and Mayor Desai, but they were outvoted by their fellow county council members

A dispute over the contents of the minutes from a previous meeting led to a skirmish between reps from The Blue Mountains and the rest of Grey County council.

At the county council meeting on May 12, The Blue Mountains county councillors - Mayor Alar Soever and Deputy Mayor Peter Bordignon - made the unusual move to vote against the adoption of the minutes from the April 28 meeting of council.

Soever said he felt the minutes, as drafted, did not reflect points of order raised during the course of an exchange between himself, Bordignon and Grey Highlands Deputy Mayor Aakash Desai. The minutes stated that Warden Selwyn Hicks had ruled on the points of order raised during the exchange between The Blue Mountains councillors and Desai.

Soever said he felt Warden Hicks had not issued a ruling on the points of order raised by Bordignon.

“I find the minutes don’t reflect what happened. I have difficulty approving them,” said Soever. “There was no real ruling whether (councillor) Desai was out of order.”

Acting Warden Paul McQueen appealed to Clerk Heather Morrison regarding how the minutes were written. Morrison advised that since Warden Hicks had allowed Desai to continue and complete his presentation staff considered that action a ruling on Bordignon’s points of order. The staff interpretation found support at the council table.

“I agree the warden at the time did rule by not stopping the speaker,” said Southgate Deputy Mayor Brian Milne.

Soever moved to have the minutes amended to more clearly reflect the staff position that the Warden had ruled on Bordignon’s points of order. His motion was seconded by Bordignon, but received no support from other members of council. The proposed amendment was defeated with only the representatives from The Blue Mountains voting in favour, with Soever requesting a recorded vote.

County council then voted on a resolution to adopt the minutes. Again, The Blue Mountains representatives voted against, with Soever requesting a second recorded vote.

The second request for a recorded vote resulted in an unidentified member of county council exclaiming: “oh, come on.”

The minutes eventually were adopted with Soever and Bordignon voting against.