Mayor Watson should step up and take his seat on the Police Services Board
At the Dec. 14 Council meeting, I challenged the Mayor to take his seat on the Police Services Board. Instead of accepting my challenge, the Mayor chose to engage in semantics about the recent appointment of Councillor Hubley. I want to clarify that according to the City’s 2014-2018 Governance Report, Tim Tierney was actually appointed to the board as the Mayor’s representative (not Harder or Hubley) and I am confident that Council would be willing to take the necessary steps in order to have the Mayor reclaim his seat.
In any event, it is irrelevant who is representing the Mayor. In my opinion it is more important that the Mayor recognize that there is a growing crisis in confidence in our Police Service. The public is asking for greater accountability and rightfully so after a year of record shootings and an evident increase in violent crime. The reality, according to Supt. Don Sweet of the Ottawa police criminal investigations directorate, is that this could be a new normal for Ottawa. As a member of Council and as a resident of this city this causes me great concern.
At the core, Ottawa is a safe city and I have great respect for the work that our officers do every day to keep it that way. That being said, Mayor Watson should take this opportunity to demonstrate his leadership and signal to the public that the safety of our city and its residents continues to be of paramount importance.
So Mr. Mayor, will you accept my challenge?