I attended the recent meeting at Gibsons town hall where former mayor Barry Janyk received an official apology from the town for the malicious rant by town chief administrative officer Manny Machado directed to Mr. Janyk and others, last June.
This was a brief affair, in which Mayor Beamish punted the recitation of the three-sentence apology to Mr. Machado, who read it aloud in the third person (i.e.”Mr. Machado and the Town of Gibsons offer a complete and full retraction of the statements”). Following, no further apologies or comments were offered by the mayor or council members pertaining to others so maligned by Mr. Machado, despite a request from the audience, and so discussion ground to a halt almost as soon as it began.
Their silence spoke volumes. There, in the council chambers, I observed the mayor and councillors staring out like pigeons on a wire, and waited for one of them to find the moral compunction to confirm that, in the future, should such a situation arise, they will not remain mute, as they did last June, but they will step up and block any such egregious indiscretion.
At the least, isn’t this a requirement of office to take a moral high road and help ensure all citizens are protected from public slander, especially when it emerges in its own chambers? Had one of them done so, last June, this action would have been nipped in the bud and injuries minimized. The town, that is, Gibsons taxpayers, would also have been spared the legal expenses to resolve this “civic dispute”, as the mayor phrases it.
The silence by mayor and council, on both occasions, is highly disappointing. Collectively, I note their service to Gibsons with their new job titles and responsibilities amounts to nine years. Mr. Janyk served the town honourably, and without scandal, for five terms. He deserved better.
Outside the council chambers, I voiced the phraseology of George W. Bush, who was said to have remarked to Hillary Clinton following President Trump’s inauguration speech of 2017, “well, that was some weird sh*t, don’t you think!” My colleagues agreed. Weird and disturbing best sums it up.