Sudbury council 'gelling,' despite 'dysfunction'
Councillors turn down $11,000 leadership training course
Sudbury city council is continuing to work on its solidarity after several councillors spoke out in September about how divisions around the council table have been holding the city back.
Mayor Marianne Matichuk said progress has been made to bring council squabbling in line.
"When we Googled 'dysfunctional councils,’ we were not on there, so that's a good sign," Matichuk said, referring to the Ontario’s Ombudsman's recent accusation that council engaged in legal gamesmanship, political gymnastics.
"I think things are gelling," Matichuk continued. "We're doing extremely well with our priorities."
Coun. Jacques Barbeau said there's no point pretending that council has been getting along during the first two years of its term.
"The public knew it and we knew it and let's not go down that road of deceit," he said.
But Barbeau added he believes discussing the problem has helped and thanked Coun. Joscylene Landry-Altmann for speaking out first.
"Certainly [this] has alleviated and somewhat smoothed over some of the problems we were having," he said.
Councillors looked at doing a leadership training course, but balked at the price tag of about $11,000.
However Coun. Fabio Belli noted resolving the leadership issue at hand is important.
"We're all elected to be leaders in this community, so, it reflects on us," he said.
But Coun. Joe Cimino said he thinks the divisions on council have been overblown.
"What we're doing tonight, again, is creating — I think — a falsehood that we leave this room and we're at each other's throats," he said. "And that's the furthest from the truth."
The next step on the ladder to better teamwork will be a meeting Dec. 4 to look at what council can accomplish in the remaining two years of its term.