Hamilton

City making new rules for representatives after NPCA member's Facebook post

A Facebook post by a Hamilton appointee on the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is inspiring the city to draw up some new rules.

Hamilton is creating a code of conduct for its appointees to external boards

James Kaspersetz, a Hamilton appointee to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, shared a post on Facebook that has inspired the city to draw up a new code of conduct. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

A Facebook post by a Hamilton appointee on the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is inspiring the city to draw up some new rules.

City council's general issues committee voted Wednesday to draft a code of conduct for Hamilton appointees to outside boards and agencies.

The move comes after James Kaspersetz, a Hamilton appointee on the NPCA, shared a Facebook post that seemed to target Muslims. 

On New Year's Day, Kaspersetz shared a post saying "77 years later, Pearl Harbor still hurts, but 17 years after 9/11 we are moving them here and adapting their laws in some places."

Kaspersetz later deleted the post and said he shared it by accident.

Two years ago, a Donald Trump hat inspired the city to draw up a code of conduct for advisory committees and task forces.

Dave Serwatuk, a member of Hamilton's committee of adjustment, brought a "Make America Great Again" hat to a meeting. He spent most of the meeting with it on the table or rested on his knee. He later said someone had given it to him before the meeting and he didn't know what else to do with it.

Committee of adjustment members shouldn't display partisan paraphernalia in meetings, Trump or otherwise, Mayor Fred Eisenberger said at the time.

Eisenberger moved the motion Wednesday too, asking staff to come back with a code of conduct "addressing the use of discriminatory language or actions, and the receiving of gifts or benefits by citizen board or agency members."

Brad Clark, Ward 9 (upper Stoney Creek) councillor, voted in favour. He's a new NPCA board member who successfully urged the board to censure Kaspersetz last month. 

But a censure, Clark said, only serves as a public rebuke. 

Kaspersetz and Stewart Beattie remain Hamilton appointees to the NPCA until the city selects new appointees. Council's selection committee is interviewing candidates now.

About the Author

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca

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