By Pauline Kerr
The integrity commissioner has been contacted regarding an incident that occurred during the April 4 meeting of Kincardine Council, when Coun. Dave Cuyler was heard to utter an obscene comment on an open microphone during debate on the Promenade on Queen.
While the exact words cannot be printed, Cuyler appears to have said an obscene, derogatory comment, when Coun. Laura Haight was explaining why she’d brought back the matter of the promenade.
Cuyler had asked why the motion to hold the promenade on Sundays during July and August had been changed from his original motion – Saturdays only, and no vendors on the street.
Haight had replied, “To animate the downtown….”
As Cuyler continued to interrupt, Mayor Gerry Glover stated, “Point of order!” and added, “If we have to adjourn, we will!”
Haight explained that the thought was Sundays, when little is happening downtown, would be “more beneficial.” At that point, Cuyler again interrupted.
A clearly shocked Coun. Maureen Couture stated, “Oh, boy!”
That’s when Cuyler made the offensive comment.
Glover conferred briefly with the clerk, after which he asked Cuyler to apologize; Cuyler would not, at that point. He has subsequently presented a written statement of apology.
However, the meeting calmed down enough that it could continue.
Coun. Bill Stewart referred to the plans for Sunday, made in consultation with the BIA, as “a great compromise.”
Cuyler asked why a promenade is necessary, and referred to an informal survey indicating people didn’t want it. Haight questioned the source of his information.
Coun. Dorne Fitzsimmons, who had voted against a two-day promenade, said he’d only wanted to ensure people would be able to park on the street and enjoy the pipe band on Saturdays.
Deputy Mayor Randy Roppel took issue with having vendors – they’d be the only ones making a profit from the promenade on Sundays.
When the matter was put to a recorded vote, the motion in favour of a Sunday promenade carried 6-3, with the mayor, deputy mayor and Cuyler voting against it.
It’s not the first time the integrity commissioner has investigated an incident involving Cuyler.
There was the matter of Sept. 10, 2019, when Cuyler was reprimanded for violating the municipality’s code of conduct by swearing at then-building inspector Dallas Hewitt. Integrity commissioner Harold Elston found Cuyler had been “unfittingly aggressive, offensive and abusive” during the incident.
Then there was Sept. 21, 2020, when Cuyler accused staff of lying in a report that involved the BIA and Chamber of Commerce. At Elston’s recommendation, Cuyler was given a reprimand from council, and his pay was suspended for 30 days – it would have been 90 days had he not apologized.
Since then, council has recommitted to honouring the municipality’s code of conduct.
Following the April 4 meeting, amidst a flurry of outraged comments from members of the public, Glover issued a statement saying the integrity commissioner had been contacted and would be conducting an “expedited investigation.” Findings of the integrity commissioner are presented in open council.
The integrity commissioner may censure a member of council and/or order suspension of pay for up to 90 days, but does not have the power to remove a member of council from their elected position.
See April 13 paper for complete story.