Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Katz decisions were deliberate

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I disagree completely with Bartley Kives' analysis of the severity of Mayor Sam Katz's transgressions (Katz's scandals are less scandalous, Nov. 2). They are not merely "a series of dubious decisions."

His decisions during his tenure as mayor reveal either a person who is incompetent to oversee the running of the city, or one who is unaware of the ethical responsibilities the office carries.

It has recently been revealed that his friend and business ally, who was hired as the CAO of Winnipeg, deliberately favoured one developer in the fire-hall scandal.

When the news of the fire-hall audit was about to be released, Katz was not "forced to allow his friend and confidante (Phil) Sheegl to resign." Katz engineered the departure prior to the release, ensuring no questions could be asked of Sheegl about the matter.

Then he has the unmitigated gall to phone Sheegl and advise him to resign from several public boards. If he was calling in the capacity of mayor, he had no business talking to an ex-employee. If he was calling as a friend, he shouldn't have been.

He has not merely been "forced to eat his words" on the police station cost overrun. Either he made the statement not knowing that the guaranteed price was based on an incomplete assessment, or he knew the assessment was incomplete and made the statement anyway. If the former, he demonstrates that he does not pay enough attention to important matters. If the latter, then he has been playing with the truth.

The mayor's inability to clearly separate his private business life from his public life has eroded trust in his capacity to act impartially or competently in matters pertaining to the running of the city.

If he had any honour, he would resign, but, like Stephen Harper and Rob Ford, he won't.

IAN TOAL

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 5, 2013 A6

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