Where’s Cecil?

Welcome to this week’s installment of “Where’s Cecil?,” my ongoing effort to keep track of Mayor Cecil Clarke’s campaign appearances to judge just how much time he’s taking from his day job to travel the province in pursuit of the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia.

As you will recall, the mayor of the CBRM declared his candidacy for the PC leadership on February 3. Tories will choose their new leader at the very end of October. So Clarke — who is paid $109,754 a year as our municipality’s only “full-time” elected official — intends to spend roughly eight months doing double duty as a mayor/PC leadership candidate.

We know, because CBRM Human Resources told us so, that the department does not track the vacation time of the mayor, whose only constraint is apparently Section 17(4) of the MGA:

A mayor or councillor who, without leave of the council, is absent from three consecutive regular meetings of the council, ceases to be qualified to serve as mayor or as a councillor.

Mayor Clarke, then, is presumably tracking his time off based on his own estimate (shared with CBC radio listeners back in December 2017) that he has over 20 weeks’ vacation stockpiled.



Do you think it’s my fault?

Confronted by the mayor’s wedding photo on the front page of the Cape Breton Post last Saturday, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe, when he hears people like me calling on him to be less secretive, he thinks we mean about his personal life.

How do I politely tell him that I don’t care what the significance of his wedding date was (frankly, I think I know the significance of the date: a month and change before the PC leadership convention), the theme of the wedding (nautical, with a hint of “Top this, Houston”), or how much the cake weighed (100 pounds  after they’d scaled back the original design which — in keeping with the nautical theme — called for much wider tiers supported by rock-socketed pilings but would have cost $4 million more than they’d budgeted for cake).

No, I want him to be more open about why he felt he could hire contractors to work on the port file and report directly to him, in flagrant defiance of the Municipal Government Act. I want him to share with us the real reasons why he signed a contract with McKeil Marine weeks before it went to council and before he’d even heard his director of finance’s concerns about the deal. I want to know who he met with in China and what they discussed. I want to know what Albert Barbusci is doing these days. I want to know if he will resign as mayor if he wins the PC leadership.

I wish the mayor and his partner all the best in their marriage but I don’t need to know how they met or where they went on their first date. They are not Justin and Hailey. I am not 12 years old.

Lucky for Clarke, there’s always the Post:

And judging by the views of the Post story as I write — 7,756 — there are lot of people out there who feel the same.

I’ll just go wait until the last of the rice has been cleaned up…







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