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Fireworks today as city council met in committee to discuss the Emergency Services (Fire) budget.
Ward 12 (Ancaster) councillor Lloyd Ferguson challenged fire chief Rob Simonds to report on cost savings that could be found in his department. Ferguson stated he had specifically requested Simonds to provide a report and became frustrated when no report was provided.
Ward 9 (Heritage Stoney Creek) councillor Brad Clark, who is deputy mayor this month and chairing the meeting, asked clerks to confirm if a motion was passed requesting the report. The clerk told Clark that no motion was passed. Clark informed Ferguson there was no motion.
Ferguson raised his voice and point to city staff stating he asked for the report.
“I want to be abundantly clear on this. I asked for it. So don’t sit there and say it wasn’t discussed,” stated Ferguson.
Clark ruled him out of order: “Councillor, you’re out of order.”
Ferguson continued to speak over Clark.
Clark forcefully slammed the wooden chair’s gavel stating more forcefully that Ferguson was out of order. The yelling match continued and Clark more forcefully slammed the gavel a second time.
Ferguson responded: “Do you want me to come hit you over the head with that thing? I’m entitled to ask any question I want, and for you to slam that gavel like that is disrespectful.”
“Councillor, you’re being disrespectful,” Clark shouted over Ferguson. Ferguson retorted “I’ve had enough of you,” turned off his microphone, slammed shut his budget binders, and left the council chambers.
Long video with full context [4:23]:
[mejsvideo src="http://data.joeycoleman.ca/hamilton/Council/2Mar12/Clark_Ferguson_2Mar12_long.mp4" width="308" height="228"]
Shorter video of just the blowout [1:12]:
[mejsvideo src="http://data.joeycoleman.ca/hamilton/Council/2Mar12/Clark_Ferguson_2Mar12_short.mp4" width="308" height="228"]