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Mississauga News - Aug 7, 2009 - By Joe Chin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor unloads on speaker
Andrew Hamilton-Smith, a University of Toronto Mississauga student, who’s also secretary of the Mississauga South NDP association, had just finished urging City councillors to delay abolishing public question period when he was berated by Ward 7 councillor Nando Iannicca.
The outspoken councillor appeared upset the deputant’s party hasn’t pushed for instituting the practice at the provincial and federal levels where the NDP is represented. He called it hypocrisy.
“They don’t do it there, but they want to come here and tell us how to run the place. And of all people the NDP," said Iannicca. "So why don’t you move along and get an education of how things actually work, for God’s sake.”
Iannicca, who was first elected to Council in 1988, told The News he doesn’t regret his outburst.
“Not at all, not at all,” he said. “(Hamilton-Smith) is not Joe Citizen; he was here on behalf of a political party.”
Iannicca noted he was respectful to the other deputants who addressed Council on the issue.
The City of Mississauga wants to do away with a 30-year tradition of allowing anyone to essentially walk off the street and ask questions of City officials.
Instead, councillors want to bump it back to the committee level and impose strict time limits.
“The objective here should be to refine the quality of questions asked at Council, not eliminate them altogether,” argued Hamilton-Smith, who sits on the City’s cycling advisory committee.
He called on councillors to defer the move until the fall to allow time for public consultation.
“The public should have a say in the elimination of public question period,” he said.
Longtime City observer Alan Forde, who also spoke on the issue, was surprised by the way Hamilton-Smith was treated.
“There has to be some explanation as to the rough handling of a citizen, especially your age,” he told Hamilton-Smith in an e-mail.
He also asked: “You and Nando have a history?”
Comments by others, 1, to this web-page;
The Mississauga Muse Aug 11, 2009 1:48 PM
POLL "Should Ward 7 councillor Nando Iannicca resign after berating a citizen in council chambers?" so far
Poll "Should Ward 7 councillor Nando Iannicca resign after berating a citizen in council chambers? Yes (83%) No (17%) Undecided (0%) Total Votes: 6" You understand what the other 5 who voted are saying here, right? That someone can be an effective Mayor/Councillor for a decade, he loses it just once on the citizen and you believe he should resign! People, I've spent over $2,000 in Freedom of Information investigating City of Mississauga Corporate Security because THAT'S WHAT *THEY* BELIEVE! THAT'S HOW *THEY* OPERATE! What is this call for resignation here but an INDEFINITE BAN?! Any of you who voted "Yes, Iannicca should resign" there's a job for you at City of Mississauga Corporate Security! Signed, The (You'd fit in well with the Misstapo knobs!) Mississauga Muse P.S. I'd be defending almost every Councillor like that --even the ones who are unworthy and thoroughly disgust me.
The Mississauga Muse Aug 10, 2009 10:21 PM
Uatu, yes a red herring but ---
Uatu you wrote, "The story here, however, is Iannicca's outburst. PQP discussion should be taking place at one of the stories or editorials about PQP, not at a story about an abusive Councillor." A reminder. One outburst, even a huge one does not an "abusive Councillor" make. Who among us hasn't flipped our lids and gone ape-do-do. And sure you could argue that elected officials should be held to a higher standard, but they're human. The TRUE abuse here at City of Mississauga is one of Contempt –a quiet, hush-hush undercurrent of deception. The smiling public “We are a caring community” face vs the Reality of Corporate Policies downright toxic to citizens/youth who need government most. Staff know they are untouchable, that they run Mississauga and not the elected officials. And that quiet abuse is as chronic as it is relentless --and woven right into the Corporate culture.
The Mississauga Muse Aug 10, 2009 10:11 PM
To Uatu and AndrewHS. Public Input and even Questions are just illusion
AndrewHS, I think that MIRANIET did a terrific thing standing up for PQP the way they did. Tomiuk presented well and answered even better. Great on her feet! And you Andrew remained finestkind in the face of Iannicca's anger. Here's the thing. You need to look at the minutes of meetings historically as I have to know the most of the time Public Question Period had "NIL" recorded. Wasn't used. And they could handle Barber, especially when Ruffo pulled him back in June 2006. But then I started getting in there and asking Freedom of Information on their security operations (and what is that, again, but concerns for treatment of citizens and Youth). Now Barber could be easily written off as a nutbar and me as a flake. But then Alan Forde showed up. Worse, City staff now had three people filing Freedom of Information ready to go to PQP.
Uatu Aug 10, 2009 9:31 PM
AndrewHS: PQP is important but that's not the story here
I agree that the PQP point is important, and that Council has done its best to obfuscate what is happening and generally deflect public input. The stroy here, however, is Iannicca's outburst. PQP discussion should be taking place at one of the stories or editorials about PQP, not at a story about an abusive Councillor.
AndrewHS Aug 10, 2009 8:28 PM
Actually, it should be about PQP
Although I think Councillor Iannacca's remarks can be attributed to the lack of a decent explanation for these changes, the greatest shame is not that he decided to chew me out for questionable reasons. The greatest shame is that Council as a whole has decided to spin, deflect, and otherwise stymie any attempts by the public to influence this decision. They want PQP out of Council so that they can avoid public scrutiny or embarrassment. Anyone who questions that is shut down as quickly as possible, through whatever means possible. Just ask MIRANET about a certain someone abusing the poll on their website...
The Mississauga Muse Aug 10, 2009 6:32 PM
OK, this is to the person who disagreed with me on my comment "Iannicca has the greatest potential of any poltical figure I've met to champion The Good if he made that his goal...."
Are you disagreeing with me writing that I think 1. "Iannicca is by FAR the brightest of any elected official that I've met at any level --as well as mesmerizingly-eloquent" or my comments about 2. "The Good that man has the the potential of doing if he just committed himself to the Public Good!" or that 3. "I'd love to see Iannicca's indignation aimed Full and True in the direction it belongs –the City senior staff “Leadership Team” and their Reign of Barrier mismanagement!" Unlike the City of MIssissauga I actually follow up on public input and seek clarification even if you disagree with all three observations! :-)
Uatu Aug 10, 2009 6:32 PM
I guess The Muse likes the taste of herring
Dear Muse: You fell for it. The subject here is NOT Public Question Period and its fate, it is the misbehaviour of Council, and especially one Councillor in particular. Your point is excellent but misplaced.
The Mississauga Muse Aug 10, 2009 6:22 PM
BEWARE "RESPONSES" Change the wording in the proposed Procedural By-Law
Quote: "Therefore Be It Resolved: That staff make the necessary amendment to the Council Procedure By-law, to reflect the following: 5. When answers are readily available, they can be delivered verbally at the time of the meeting. Otherwise, written responses shall be provided by staff, in a timely fashion, before the matter under discussion is finalized at Council;" BEWARE "RESPONSES! A response is NOT an answer. At Council, Hazel McCallion predicted that citizens are "going to see it’s dealing with their questions more professionally in more depth and with more facts and data to answer the question. And I believe we have to do that, and this is the way, in my opinion, it can be done much better than it has in the past.” I want wording changed from "Otherwise, written responses shall be provided by staff" to "Otherwise, written ANSWERS shall be provided by staff" --or we’re DOOMED.
Uatu Aug 10, 2009 6:08 PM
Well now we've been educated, thanks to The Crusher. For the record, I am not part of the NDP nor have I ever supported them in an election. I do, however, support their right to have a representative appear at Council without being trashed by an arrogant Councillor. Neither the issue at hand nor the political affiliation of Mr. Hamilton-Smith is the point here. Nando Iannicca was elected to serve the citizens of Mississauga, not insult them. Council's own Procedural By-law states that insulting language is prohibited, but neither the Mayor (as Chair) nor Nando cared about that. I see no exception for bashing “political operatives.” You, The Crusher, (may I call you The?) are dragging in a red herring.
* Agree 2
AndrewHS Aug 10, 2009 4:43 PM
What is political about asking a question?
The MSNDP was simply offering a point of view, one perspective among many, to Council. The NDP does not have policies regarding municipal affairs, so I was not there to promote the party. Dorothy Tomiuk spoke on behalf of MIRANET, which offered the report of a sub-committee of just 4 people: why was she not booed by Nando for being biased? I simply asked if there would be public consultations, which is a question that members of my riding association wanted answered. Are we not entitled to ask that/receive an answer because we happen to support a political party? The other fact is, most ratepayer/community groups do not meet in the summer. Council knew this and tried to rush through these changes in less than a month. The MSNDP just happened to hold an AGM between July 8 (when Council issued directives) and Aug 5 (when they were to vote on changes). If we had not spoken up, who knows if Council would have deferred the vote?
* Agree 1
The Crusher Aug 10, 2009 4:24 PM
You just admitted you appeared before Council representing the Mississauga South NDP party; you did not present yourself as Andrew Smith concerned citizen. You obviously were speaking on behave of the MSNDP. if not, you would have presented yourself as Andrew Smith representing a bunch of other like minded concerned citizens, who happen to be members of the NDP. You state that your letter was jointly written between yourself and several Executives Committee members. Is this the grassroots you are talking about? Did you go out and survey the Mississauga South Community or was this just the decision of a few members? Then, in order to give themselves and their position some credibility they decided to have you go to Council as a representative of the MSNDP. So either way you cut this you went representing a political party. I believe that your position was not vetted up to higher authorities, but in my books your appearance before Council as representing the MSNDP constitutes you being a political operative
AndrewHS Aug 10, 2009 3:11 PM
What is a political operative?
For the record, the open letter drafted and approved by the Mississauga South NDP was a joint effort, involving input from several members of the Executive Committee. Although I did appear before Council on behalf of the riding association, in relation to the aforementioned letter, I don't see how this makes me a political operative. The position of the MSNDP was formulated in a grass-roots and democratic way, according to recognized rules and procedures. There was no direction from any higher authority, nor were they even aware of the action being taken by the MSNDP. As a representative for a group of concerned citizens - who also happen to be NDP members - how was I acting as a political operative?
* Agree 2 - Disagree 1
The Crusher Aug 10, 2009 2:31 PM
Time for posters to understand the issues before they post
First of all question period is not being eliminated it is being proposed to be moved to Committtee. Read the letter from July 14th written by Carolyn Parrish entitled 'More than a Soap Box' it explains it all. Committee meetings are where your work through issues, Council meetings are for the passing of the end product. As for Mr. Smith, he went to Council on a political agenda, not as Joe citizen. He represented himself as being there as a memeber of the NDP party, not as citizen Smith. Maybe Nando went over board but this is politics not Jimmy's grade 1 class. If you go in there trying to score political points for youself and your party then you should be prepared to be treated like a political operative, not Joe citizen. Only when Mr. Smith was cornered did he back track away from the NDP banner. Yes Nando may have gone over board but this is not a Councillor attacking a Citizen, this is a Politician attacking a Political operative.
48dixie Aug 10, 2009 12:35 PM
time to get a real job
Wow. this Nando is something, has been on the public dole for over 20 years and beats up the taxpayers / his boss . has used the election donation process to alledgely buy furniture and whatever else that is " allowed by law ". constantly tells his colleagues about his finance and business background ( tell us out here in ward 7 how many years you were in the private working sector. something wrong with our system .. 2010 / nov is coming
JLM Aug 9, 2009 12:25 PM
CONTACT YOUR COUNCILLOR AND DEMAND AN APOLOGY. OR ELSE NANDO, HAZEL AND THE REST OF COUNCIL OR RESIGN
Do we live in a fascist state? Mr. Smith's request of council for further public debate into question period was fair and valid. The fact he is a UTM student and member of a political organization (to which Nando, Hazel and Carolyn clearly do not belong) does not mean he is to be belittled and ignored. I DEMAND FURTHER PUBLIC DEBATE ON THIS MATTER! EVERYONE CONTACT YOUR COUNCILLOR , NANDO AND HAZEL AND DEMAND AN APOLOGY!
The Mississauga Muse Aug 9, 2009 4:10 AM
Iannicca has the greatest potential of any poltical figure I've met to champion The Good if he made that his goal....
Just repeatiing a portion of the comment I wrote for the Editorial, "Step down, Nando" Here goes. When I first started researching Mississauga Council back in June 2006, I viewed Iannicca as the Crown Prince of the evil empire. I vilified him the most. Now he's actually my favourite Councillor. Iannicca is by FAR the brightest of any elected official that I've met at any level --as well as mesmerizingly-eloquent. The Good that man has the potential of doing if he just committed himself to the Public Good! I'd love to see Iannicca's indignation aimed Full and True in the direction it belongs –the City senior staff “Leadership Team” and their Reign of Barrier mismanagement! Signed, The (I file Freedom of Information so I KNOW!) Mississauga Muse
WatcherOIO Aug 8, 2009 10:35 PM
1 Shocked but not surprised and said that right to Nando’s face
People don’t believe me when I say that “Hurricane Hazel” (wonder what should Nando’s nick name should be), her Council of abusers and staff of bullies make life living hell should they try to be involved in how City hall does business, question, seek accountability and of course just plain disagree. I am use to the abuse often dished out by the OLD GUARD of City hall and followed after Andrew to the podium to address Council with renewed purpose. Made it clear I was going to “educate” those on Council who attacked a Mississaugan, claiming to know better then he about how Queens Park was run and Nando didn’t dare try the same stunt on me as he knows I will not back down and know the facts. In fact I even got the Mayor to retract her statement about people still having right to question Council
* Agree 1 - Disagree 1
WatcherOIO Aug 8, 2009 10:34 PM
2 Shocked but not surprised and said that right to Nando’s face
It needs to be noted that it was the Mayor who started it and attack dog Nando only followed. We should all be thankful for have the chance to publicly see how these politicians have been treating taxpayers in private, all these years. Fact is the Mayor could not or would not control Nando who has MANY times been an embarrassment to Mississauga and the other Councillor also sat on their lone-some spotted behinds, their silence approval. They all have to go! Missing from the news article is that he was on the winning side, finial approval for the changes to Public Question Period were not approved but refereed back to committee for input as they got none. The public can still write in say no!
* Agree 1 - Disagree 1
Uatu Aug 8, 2009 1:25 PM
Nando knows no shame
To be fair to Councillor Iannicca (even though he was anything but fair to Hamilton-Smith) he knew because the man said he was associated with the NDP. Apparently Iannicca feels this meant the rules were suspended, there was no need to be polite, and he no longer was obliged to perform his duty as Councillor to listen to what a citizen had to say. Given the way Nando kept snorting "NDP!" derisively, he clearly thinks if you say you are NDP then you forfeit your rights as a citizen of Mississauga. He's implied that he'd do the same to anyone representing a political party. I have my doubts about that. Not regretting his outburst reveals more about Iannicca than he should want us to know, but the man is impossible to embarrass.
* Agree 3 - Disagree 1
48dixie Aug 8, 2009 11:55 AM
Time to retire
Total arrogance.. total misdirection of anger ( bad day, Nondo ? ).. Get out of the kitchen / time to get that big financial plum position that you think you can get. And how do you actually know he was there on behalf of a political party ? Please let us all know ?? Secret information ? This really shows why there should be limits to councillor's terms of office !!!
* Agree 2 - Disagree 1
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