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Monday, May 28, 2018

Gag Order On Brockton Councillors

Brockton | by Robyn Garvey  

Only mayor of municipality can speak to press under new order

It appears David Inglis has been flexing his mayoral muscles, as a gag order of sorts has been placed on Brockton Councillors.

Councillors have been told they are no longer allowed to talk to the press on Council or Brockton matters.

In an email to reporters, on behalf of the mayor, CAO Sonya Watson clearly spells out that the mayor is the official spokesperson for Brockton and the decisions of Council.

Press have been asked to ‘respect’ this and in the future only connect with the mayor following all Council meetings and news pertaining to Brockton.

In the Mayor’s absence from a Council meeting, members of the media have been instructed that they may approach the Deputy Mayor for comment.

Mayor Inglis was unavailable for comment at the time of the letter to the media, as he is on vacation.

Deputy Mayor Dan Gieruszak politely declined comment, saying he didn't feel comfortable providing his interpretation of the letter on behalf of the mayor.

Brockton’s CAO defends the move to silence Councillors from speaking with the media, saying Council acts as one body and once decisions are made at the Council table the most appropriate person to deliver the information on that decision is the mayor.

Watson claims that the new rules adhere to both the Municipal Act and Brockton’s Procedural By-law.

She says while this has not been strictly enforced in Brockton in the past, it would be appreciated if press kept this in mind following all future Council meetings and Brockton matters.

Whether or not Brockton Councillors will fall in line and adhere to the new rules remains to be seen.

Brockton Council meets tonight at 7 pm, and in the Mayor‘s absence the Deputy Mayor will be presiding over the meeting.

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