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Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk

A proposal to cut the number of Sudbury city staff had councillors bickering last night — but it had more to do with procedure than the issue itself.

The number of city employees has jumped by 160 in the past four years, adding millions to the municipal budget.

Mayor Marianne Matichuk proposed an attrition policy, where vacant positions would be reviewed by council before being posted.

"There are some people who if they left, really, no one would know," she said. "But yet that position will get re-filled."

City councillor Terry Kett pointed out that such a policy already exists and called the motion redundant.

"It's not a good motion," he countered.

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Sudbury Councillor Terry Kett

"That's all there is to it. It's not. End of story. That's it. You can't pass a motion like this. I'd give it an F."

To which Matichuk replied:

"Well, I didn't know we were actually being graded on this, Terry."

Matichuk tried to re-write the motion during the meeting and get it passed. But Kett moved to refer it to the next council meeting, which instantly ended debate.

It was three hours into the meeting by that point and the majority of councillors voted to continue the discussion in January.