COMMENTARY: Haven’t you learned about optics?

You would think by now after two fiascoes – the Worm Kids and an ice hockey rink – that made national headlines, the City of Cornwall would have given a second thought about optics. But, give yourself one of those quick cartoon head-shakes, because the Seaway City’s newly minted councillor already has the job less than 24 hours after council decided to pick the next eligible candidate.

According to the deputy clerk, it happened very quickly. And, to my knowledge, none of the media were given any notice that Denis Carr was officially taking the job until it was done. This mayor and council, most of them, campaigned under the banner of transparency. Some might say it was a moot point and that signing a document at city hall to hold office by the man that many already expected to take the job is splitting hairs.

But having a former councillor from the old guard – half of whom were tossed by the electorate in the last election – take the municipal position without any notice to the media doesn’t look good. Under the Municipal Act, the city had 60 days to fill the position. Sixty days! Did it really have to happen today and why could it not have waited until an open meeting of council? It may not be secret but it looks secret and therein lies the problem.

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