A letter sent to city council on Monday brought up concerns for the relationship between the London Police Services Board and the city manager’s office. A special meeting occurred Friday afternoon, late into the evening to discuss the eight problems brought forth in the letter to try to resolve in a civil manner.
However, at times, words weren’t kept so civil.
The meeting began with the City Manager, Art Zuidema, defending himself, claiming the letter written by Paul Paolatto and the LPSB was “inaccurate”, “a mischaracterization”, and “wrong”.
The issues Paulatto brought forward were times the manager’s office were unresponsive during moments of a $4 million budget dispute with the police board over the last nine months, that resulted in councillors giving a $2.7 million deal.
Several city councillors brought forward their displeasure with the way the manager’s office has been handling things.
Mo Salih says he’s “very troubled”, having a hard time understanding why such a meeting was even taking place, calling it “a joke”. “I never signed up to babysit whatever you want to call what’s happening here.”
While councillor Phil Squire says he “isn’t satisfied with senior administration”. He also says he is more interested in leadership and responsibility, and doing work for the city. He had some criticism for Zuidema.
“I would have felt a lot better about this matter if you stood up there and said ‘I am the city manager. I take responsibility for what happened on my watch.’ I didn’t hear that. Nor have I ever heard that from you.”
Although Zuidema was almost met halfway with some supporters on the council.
Bill Armstrong said “personally, I support the work that’s been done by our city manager”.
Mayor Matt Brown refused to comment publically on Zuidema’s performance, however he believes the impromptu meeting accomplished their goal if getting information out to the public as soon as possible.