As recriminations, investigations and accusations ring through Hamilton City Hall, staff morale is dropping to unprecedented lows.
"From where I sit and what I know, I've never seen this before on council," said Mayor Fred Eisenberger yesterday. "I've seen a lot, but I haven't seen it sink to this level. I certainly want to take every possible avenue I have to get us on a much more productive and respectful path."
The relationship between politicians and staff has been strained in recent weeks, as they have laboured under an ongoing OPP investigation of the licensing department, a separate operational review and an independent investigation of one employee's harassment and discrimination complaints.
Those complaints led to an investigation that brought about the firing of three senior managers in the licensing department last month. But council voted unanimously last week not to reprimand Councillor Bernie Morelli when the same investigator determined he had harassed and bullied the same employee.
"I want to talk to the employees and let them know that from where I sit, and from where the majority of council is, I believe, that we all want to get to progressive decision-making, in partnership with staff," the Mayor explained. Continued...