Spat between councillor and mayor erupts ahead of budget talks
Coun. Jyoti Gondek, right, took aim at Mayor Naheed Nenshi in a social media post ahead of coming budget deliberations.
As council prepares for a potentially heated session on potential budget cuts, Calgary’s mayor and a member of council are butting heads.
Councillor Jyoti Gondek targeted Mayor Naheed Nenshi in a Facebook post on Saturday titled, “Don’t Believe the Hype: The real reason we’re facing drastic budget cuts,” saying in part, “we are in this mess because leadership is lacking from our chief elected official.”
Council is set to discuss $60-million in possible budget cuts Tuesday, including slashing more than $7 million from the fire department and emergency service’s budget and another $7 million from the Calgary Police Service.
When asked about Gondek’s comments the mayor said, “the councillor wants to re-litigate her idea that got a fair vote and failed 12-3 ... it was kind of a terrible idea.”
But Gondek cited long-term concerns in her post, including working with “a leader who will not collaborate.”
The mayor does not think the spat will affect Tuesday’s budget cut talks.
“The option before us is not the best option,” said Nenshi.
“There were better options, but council rejected them all, and this is the last one on the table, council has already spent the money, so for them to now step back and say they don’t want this would be pretty surprising.”