Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Respect suffers at city

  • Print

Deepak Joshi, the city's acting chief administrative officer, was acting appropriately when he asked Coun. Paula Havixbeck to exercise greater discretion when making comments that reflect upon the integrity of civic staff.

Ms. Havixbeck said last week mismanagement and possibly corruption were to blame for nearly $100 million in cost overruns at the new police headquarters building.

There may have been mismanagement, but she crossed the line in saying corruption in the administration may have played a role in the debacle. It's possible she was referring only to former CAO Phil Sheegl, even though there is no evidence he did anything illegal or immoral. In fact, there is no evidence of corruption at any level.

Coun. Havixbeck owes an apology to city staff, many of whom, including Mr. Joshi, worked on the headquarters building in some capacity. Her thoughtless remarks have tarnished all of them and needlessly poisoned the relationship between council and the administration.

As the senior manager at city hall, Mr. Joshi was simply standing up for his staff when he warned Ms. Havixbeck her comments were hurtful and disrespectful.

It would have been better if he had talked to her privately, where the nuances of the issue could have been better explained, rather than in a formal letter, which Ms. Havixbeck believed was intimidating.

It would have been better still if Mayor Sam Katz had delivered the message, but poor relations between the mayor and the councillor made that impossible.

It's not unusual for mayors and councillors to spar behind the scenes with administrators, but council has had a tendency over the tenure of the last three mayors to manage city hall rather than lead and set policy.

Some cities have policies that outline the appropriate professional interactions between councillors and staff. The city should conduct a similar exercise to ensure both sides at city hall understand their rights and limitations.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 11, 2013 A8

History

Updated on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 7:51 AM CST: adds image

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Exclusive architectural tour of CMHR with Antoine Predock

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A pelican comes in for a landing Wednesday afternoon on the Red River at Lockport, Manitoba - Standup photo- June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • The sun peers through the fog to illuminate a tree covered in hoar frost near Headingley, Manitoba Thursday- Standup photo- February 02, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should the Canadian Museum for Human Rights use the word 'genocide' in exhibits on Indian residential schools?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google