Orleans Coun. Bob Monette is hoping to see more civility during the remaining Lansdowne Partnership public consultations.
Monette said Thursday that the aggressive, confrontational atmosphere that caused him to storm out of Wednesday night’s question and answer session has harmed any genuine efforts at public consultation.
“They have not been very productive so far,” he said. “We’ve got to change the focus of this. It’s fine for there to be an opposition but let others have a say and stop trying to intimidate people.”
The question and answer sessions are a welcome change, said Martin Canning, a volunteer with the Ask Me! campaign, but to him, it was too little, too late.
“People are skeptical if halfway through a process, it changes,” he said.
Monette said he had no problem with civilized opposition to the plan, but he draws the line when people start attacking the integrity of city manager Kent Kirkpatrick.
“He’s a bureaucrat doing the job that council asked him to do. He doesn’t deserve to take that abuse,” said Monette. “If people want to give abuse, give it to me or the mayor. We’re elected. Even though it’s stupid at times, we still have to take it.”
After two nights of a trade show-style interaction, the city opted to include a 90-minute question and session for the remaining four meetings.
There are two more open houses planned for next week — at the Tom Brown Arena on Monday and the Shenkman Arts Centre on Tuesday.