Saundercook's work trip draws criticism

Incoming-councillor for Ward 13 Sarah Doucette is disappointed in Saundercook not attending transition meeting

Even before her term officially began, Ward 13 councillor-elect Sarah Doucette said she’s has been fielding calls from residents, trying to help settle their complaints.

But she’s got some complaints of her own regarding her predecessor, ousted Ward 13 rep, Bill Saundercook.

Doucette said Nov. 22 that she had tried to arrange a meeting with Saundercook in mid-November to discuss her transition to the council seat, but he never showed up.

“I was hoping to get together with my councillor and I made a meeting with him and he wasn’t there—he didn’t show up. I was rather disappointed with that,” Doucette said.

It’s an about-face from shortly after her election win, when Doucette remarked how Saundercook had come to congratulate her on election night. At the time, she described him as “very helpful in handing over.”

Reached by phone on Nov. 23, Saundercook declined to be interviewed by the Town Crier.

“No comment,” he said. “The Town Crier has not been very supportive of me in office so I have no comment.”

Outgoing councillors are not required to assist in their successor’s transition process. This election, some councillors have taken an active role in helping the councillors-elect while others have not.

Saundercook has also drawn some criticism for recently attending a conference on pedestrian issues in Amsterdam despite the fact that his time on council is coming to an end.

“A city taxpayer shouldn’t be paying for someone who isn’t going to be on that committee going out to Amsterdam,” Doucette said.

“I would like to see a full report from him saying what he learned and what he’s bringing back from this conference.”

Doucette, a community activist, earned 47 percent of the vote in Ward 13 to defeat incumbent and former schoolteacher Saundercook, who finished with 37 percent of the vote.

— With files from Joshua Freeman

About this article:

By: Tristan Carter
Posted: Nov 26 2010 5:01 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto