Did Mayor Coderre hold secret meetings at City Hall?
Mayor Coderre hold secret meetings – It has been over 3 years since visitors arriving to meet with Mayor Coderre or his chief of staff at city hall have not been required to sign in – according to information obtained by the Journal Métro.
In a recent article they cited a March 12th 2014 memo sent to Montreal’s city hall security guards that instead states, ‘when a guest from the mayor or the chief of staff arrives at one of the guard posts and mentions such an interview, the officer concerned must contact one of the three persons designated by that letter, including Denis Dolbec, the director of Mr. Coderre’s office.’
This is contrary to what the security guards are instructed to do – and that is to ‘register the name of any person having an appointment within the municipal building.
It opens up the possibility he met secretly with lobbyists, building contractors, business people and other representatives – with no record of their visits. But Coderre, in defending himself, said he did not change security procedures in order to have secret meetings – and that ‘the procedure was put in place to improve security at a time when the city was involved in a bitter dispute with unions’.
“To create innuendo and say that it’s because I want to meet secretly with lobbyists is unacceptable,” Coderre was quoted as telling reporters in a Montreal Gazette article. “I did not come back to politics for that. I came back to bring back integrity to this city, and we’ve been doing that.”
When first asked about it last Wednesday by Journal Métro at the end of a press conference, he said he had no time to ‘dwell on this subject’… ‘I’m late, I do not know’ and then said he was going ‘to check into it’. He then cut off any further questions.
The question remains, if nobody was signing in how would anyone know if he was meeting secretly with lobbyists and contractors?
As Valérie Plante, Leader of Projet Montréal asked, ‘What does Denis Coderre have to hide? This is contrary to the rules of ethics and transparency’.
The present administration at city hall does not have a good record when it comes to transparency – and this last issue could give many cause for concern – especially with the municipal elections just a month away.
Do you think Mayor Coderre is hiding something? Or is this just political meandering by those opposed to him?