As if his worship, Dennis O'Keefe's reputation as a hard working, diligent and consensus maker was not diminished enough, The Telegram is reporting today that he is often AWOL for a great deal of city business.
The headline at the top of the bottom fold of the front page shouts " St. John's mayor attends 7.8% of standing committee meetings."
That is a remarkable 7 out of 90 meetings! Amazingly, at this time of crisis - he never attended, get this, any of the finance and administration committee meetings - not the one!
On one hand we should excuse him, it is hard to be in two places at the same time. How can he be at marketing meetings for cruise lines in Florida or making cash on the side officiating weddings and participate in the tangly little details like finance and administration? He has councillors and highly paid officials to do that sort of thing. You can't flog the heck out of your travel budget going back and forth to City Hall for meetings!
If you ask me, the Camp David exercise in forging peace, reconciliation and unity amongst council and the Mayor has begun to unravel. The outcome of the private meeting to "clear the air" was akin to sticking your finger in the dam to stop a leak. The dam at city hall is going to burst because the leader is not leading and that is pissing off council which is tired of taking the hits and doing the heavy lifting.
One can not suggest a team approach when statistics like these are made public.
It speaks to a multi-term mayor who is coasting to end of his last term in office.
It speaks to arrogance and perhaps even distain for how decisions that make it to the council table are made.
The Mayor needs to get back to the hands-on business of council that he was elected to perform. To lead the governing of the capital - by example.
If not, he should not complain, or suggest, that his leadership is not the most divisive factor facing bringing the council together.