Sounds like the muse... I wonder if it was...
Mayor lectures critic on excessive e-mails
By: Joseph Chin
April 24, 2008 12:15 PM - A vocal City Hall critic has had her knuckles rapped for allegedly wasting the Cityâ€™s time with her constant queries.
Ursula Keuper-Bennett was attempting to ask a question at yesterday's Council meeting when she was interrupted by Mayor Hazel McCallion.
â€œPractically every week Iâ€™m getting letters from you that I have to refer to (the legal department). Itâ€™s very time consuming...and itâ€™s on the same issue all the time. There comes a time when it is costing the taxpayers money,â€ McCallion told Keuper-Bennett, who writes a citizen blog for The Mississauga News.
Keuper-Bennett admits to sending the City, which she slams as â€œa secretive, shadowy force that has no oversight or accountability mechanisms in place,â€ at least eight e-mails so far this year.
She also acknowledges regularly trying to ferret out classified data through the Freedom of Information (FOI) process.
â€œI drop six FOIs at a time,â€ said the former schoolteacher, who registered to run for Council in the 2006 election, but ultimately withdrew.
Keuper-Bennett said she began writing City officials with her concerns about one year ago at the request of McCallion, who didnâ€™t want to deal with the queries at Council meetings.
â€œ(McCallion) said to send them to the City solicitor, and sheâ€™ll be happy to answer. The reality is, theyâ€™re not happy to answer,â€ said Keuper-Bennett.
Though unrepentant, Keuper-Bennett said sheâ€™ll begin curtailing her e-mails. Instead, sheâ€™s hit on another tack: pen a â€œreportâ€ to Council. That way, it will be appended to the agenda for all to read. At least, thatâ€™s what she hopes will happen.
â€œMy e-mails werenâ€™t being noticed anyway,â€ she said.
As for being lectured by McCallion, Keuper-Bennett was conciliatory and understanding after re-viewing her videotape. She regularly videotapes Council meetings.
â€œI have to say that I was struck with how gentle she was in her tone of voice. It was all ver reasonable and there was no attempt to intimidate.â€