May 27, 2016
Dear Ms. Atwood-Petkovski,
On Wednesday evening I was escorted from the city council chambers by security. My two signs, 'Justice for Joey Coleman' and 'Joey Coleman deserves a public apology from council' were not allowed according to the City Clerk's office. I left my signs as directed in the lobby and returned to the public gallery where three or four other residents were sitting.
I was attending the meeting to show support for my 'Open Letter', a council agenda item.1 I hoped for a public apology to Joey Coleman from council. I was also aware the city clerk's office had sent council and management a 'High Importance' e-mail about my wish to see Councillor Ferguson's public apology included in the public record. The e-mail advised, "The inclusion of the apology in the Feb. 27, 2014 GIC minutes would require an amendment by Council."2
I was very disappointed. My fundamental charter freedoms were denied when I couldn't display my important messages.3 This is wrong. Then council failed to discuss my letter's concerns and no one attempted to correct the 'missing' minutes. Minimizing the seriousness of what happened on Feb. 26, 2014 is not the way to build a healthy, engaged community. The former Integrity Commissioner found current Police Board chair Lloyd Ferguson violated the Code of Conduct, Sections 45 a) & b) involving 'harassment' and 'abuse, bullying or intimidation'.4 Which is NOT serious? And...
- Why didn't the city immediately call police when staff discovered the video's unauthorized editing and why wasn't the video properly protected in the first place?
- Why didn't the city release the city hall surveillance video long ago, before it was shortened, if it 'set the record straight'?
- Why isn't Councillor Ferguson's 'public' apology part of the city's public record since he was 'given the floor' by the chair and his apology included all of us, "the public"?
- Why hasn't the city yet responded to Joey Coleman's reasonable 2014 request for "a serious conversation at City Hall about bullying and violence?"
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
D. Scott McNie
Mayor Eisenberger and Members of Council
Mr. Chris Murray, City Manager
The Integrity Commissioner for the City of Hamilton
Ms. Sandra Walker, CUPE 5167 President
Ontario Ombudsman's Office
1 'Open Letter to Mayor Eisenberger and Members of Council', Scott McNie, May 10, 2016 2 copy of e-mail by Acting City Clerk, J. Pilon to council concerning Feb. 27, 2014 GIC meeting minutes, May 24, 2016 3 copy of e-mail by journalist Joey Coleman to City Manager, Chris Murray concerning violation of Scott McNie's rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 2(b) "Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication", and link to 2014 municipal sign court decision between Gammie v. Town of South Bruce Penninsula, May 25, 2016 4 Council Code of Conduct, Section 17ab - Harassment, (*not 45ab) 5 e-mail by Joey Coleman to city officials requesting protection of security video, Feb. 27, 2014 (part of Basse Report, Feb. 25, 2015) 6 City of Hamilton Press Release, 'Ferguson says public release of security video shows real picture', Nov. 23, 2015 7 Councillor Ferguson's public apology, "I want to apologize to, for last night to Mr. Coleman. Following a very heated council debate as all of you know I left council and was wanting to speak with staff and a fellow councillor on a confidential matter. Mr. Coleman was standing behind us. I asked Mr. Coleman to step back and tried to move Mr. Coleman out of the way. It was unacceptable and I apologize to Mr. Coleman, members of council and the public for my actions. Thank you.", temporarily stored audio/video, city archives, Feb. 27, 2014 8 joeycoleman.ca/In Regards to Councillor Lloyd Ferguson's Use of Force Against Myself', Feb. 27, 2014
Note: The Hamiltonian will be asking the city solicitor if she would like to respond via The Hamiltonian.