Janice Jackson starts the mayoral race with a gratuitous and dishonest personal attack against her opponent Ana Vukovic (8-4)

In an interview with OSST reporter Denis Langlois, Mayoral Candidate Ana Vukovic properly stuck to the issues while candidate Janice Jackson chose to dishonestly bad-mouth Ana Vukovic (https://www.wiartonecho.com/news/local-news/jackson-vukovic-in-race-for-south-bruce-peninsula-mayor/wcm/5df68160-147e-4d30-a833-f87bd0e4a97a).

In what follows I provide counterpoint to Ms. Jackson’s ad hominem attacks.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“South Bruce Peninsula’s council sessions have been marred this term by “childish outbursts,” personal attacks and shocking tantrums, says incumbent councillor and mayoral candidate Ana Vukovic. The decorum has never been so bad, she said, in the 11 years she has been at the council table.”

“It’s a toxic environment. What I have experienced in the last year-and-a-half has been just unbearable. This has to be changed,” [Ana] said Friday in an interview.

“Vukovic, who submitted her nomination papers Wednesday to challenge incumbent Mayor Janice Jackson, said one of the key planks of her election platform is a vow to bring back “civility and respect” to local government. It is the job of the mayor to keep order in the council chambers, but that has not been done this term, [Ana] said.”

Ms. Vukovic is correct. There has been a lack of decorum, and a toxic environment, and lack of “civility and respect”.  All in my experience are due to Ms. Jackson’s tactic of bullying and harassing any council member who dares to disagree with her, and also Ms. Jackson’s total disregard for the procedural rules, and use (abuse) of the rules to shut out any member who does not agree with her.  In my view Ms. Jackson created the toxic environment and Ms. Jackson is the cause of the disorder and chaos.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Jackson, ….. said she has faced “unprecedented challenges” as mayor because of former councillor Craig Gammie.”

That’s ridiculous and unsupportable.  I broke no council rules. I was never found by council to be in breach of any rules.  But it’s true I disagreed with Ms. Jackson, and quite often.  I do believe her when she says she found my dissenting views challenging.  But that does not give her the right to make false and hurtful allegations, or to bully, or harass, or punish me (or anyone else) for disagreeing with her.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“[Ms. Jackson] said it was disheartening to watch Vukovic “distance herself” from the rest of council and support Gammie in his final months on council.”

Ana has a lot of experience and wisdom.  She has disagreed with the mayor and the “rest of council” on many issues.  But in every case she disagreed with and voted against the rest of council not because she wanted to vote with me, but rather because she had considered the matters at hand very carefully and had determined that the “rest of council” was on a track that was not in the best interests of the residents.

Ms. Jackson does not seem to understand that Ms. Vukovic is quite capable of thinking for herself.  Ms. Jackson’s arrogance won’t let her even consider that a mere councillor could be right and she could be wrong.  Ana disagreed with the Mayor.   And true to form, the mayor attacked Ana for it.

From the Langlois OSST article:

““I can see now that Ana has created a ruckus at the council table to position herself for a second mayoral run,” [J. Jackson] said.”

“Ana” did not “create a ruckus at the council table”.  If she had it would have been recorded as a breach.  That did not happen.  Ms. Vukovic called out the May 1 bullying and harassment not to “create a ruckus” but rather because it needed to be called out.

When a council member disagrees with Ms. Jackson it gets spun as “created a ruckus”. That does not make it a ruckus. It just exposes Ms. Jackson as insecure and untruthful.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“I have been utterly disappointed because I expected maturity from our most senior council member.” [J. Jackson] said.”

Considering the attacks on her, Ms. Vukovic has shown remarkable restraint and maturity.  It’s Ms. Jackson’s bullying and harassing actions that are juvenile.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Gammie was twice escorted by police out of council meetings and issued trespassing tickets in 2015.”

I was twice removed from my council seat and charged on allegations of trespassing.  The allegations were absolutely groundless, all based on Ms. Jackson falsely accusing  me of breaching a council rule.  The trespassing charges were dropped, with no admission of guilt, or of breach of any council rule.

That false trespassing allegation was just another in a long series of false allegations against me, including:

1) That I defamed the CAO ($750,000 lawsuit 2012 – dropped when the town ceased paying the CAO’s legal fees),

2) That I contravened the Professional Engineers Act (charges dropped 2013, no admission of wrongdoing),

3) That I shoved the pointed end of a stick into a man’s stomach so hard he doubled over in pain (2014 – no stick ever came near the man – the discussion was recorded on video),

4)That I breached the Law Society Act (2017 – I was completely cleared by the law society),

5) That I contravened the Professional Engineers Act (2016 – did not even get to charges)

6) That I harassed the clerk (no one would put a complaint in – allegations were goundless),

(and more).

There was never any finding of guilt by a competent tribunal.

Anyone can make false allegations.  Usually without consequence to the one making the false allegations.  But often with serious consequences for the accused.  Making false allegations is nasty and cowardly.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Council later invited Gammie back to the table (after the trespassing charges).”

Denis missed the point.  Ms. Jackson proclaimed in May 2015 that unless I apologized and the apology was accepted by council I was out for the term.   I proclaimed that I would not apologize because I did not break the council rule I was accused of breaking.  I was not invited back to the table.  I just came back.  Ms. Jackson decided not to call the police a third time because the town lawyer told her that removing me was improper and the trespassing charges were groundless and that trying to keep me out would be improper and if Ms. Jackson persisted a judge would order me back in.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Council voted in December to declare Gammie’s seat vacant, which Jackson at the time said they had to do because he had missed three consecutive months of meetings without council’s permission.”

Council could have presumed me innocent of the charges against me and given me permission to miss meetings.  Contrary to Jackson, council did not have to remove me.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“In May, Vukovic stated during a council meeting that she had been harassed by fellow council members and was called an “idiot, moron and psycho” at a special closed session.”

Ms. Vukovic was also called “a stupid old woman”, by bullies Ms. Jackson and Matt Jackson.  For disagreeing with the Mayor and the councillor.   Over a motion to add staff to the payroll at a cost of $300,000 per year to the taxpayers.  Which Ms. Ana Vukovic  considered unnecessary. Ana was bullied for considering the taxpayers.  Ana was bullied for properly representing the taxpayers.  Ana was bullied for doing what she was elected to do.

From the Langlois OSST article, Ms. Jackson’s comment about the May 1 bullying:

“However, Jackson said at the time that any words exchanged were outside of council meetings.“

It is true – the words were spoken outside of a formal council meeting.  But the words were spoken in council chambers.  Which is the workplace.   That made the nasty words “workplace harassment”.

And the May 1 words were also a breach of the council code of conduct (“no member will maliciously or falsely injure or impugn the professional or ethical reputation of any member of Council; every member has the duty and responsibility to treat .. one another appropriately and without abuse, bullying or intimidation; no member shall engage in any form of slanderous, malicious or demeaning communication in regard to other members of Council”).  Janice Jackson and Matt Jackson bullied, harassed, abused, slandered, demeaned, and all the rest.

Ms. Jackson’s response that the words were “exchanged outside of a formal council meeting” is typical J. Jackson spin/BS, and is an irrelevant distraction.

What is relevant is that J. Jackson did not deny that the nasty words were spoken.

What is relevant is that Ana filed a complaint against Janice Jackson and Matt Jackson under the Town’s harassment policy.

What is relevant is that J. Jackson did not deny Ms. Vukovic’s written allegations against her.

What is relevant is that an independent investigator is dealing with Ana’s complaint, with a report due, and with the Ministry of Labour watching.

That was the second complaint by Councillor Vukovic against Janice Jackson.  The first was, in Councillor Vukovic’s words: “in an email to me August 14, 2017 and also in the October 10, 2017 special closed meeting Mayor Jackson: 1) made false and hurtful claims that I leaked confidential information to a staff member, 2) falsely impugned my ethical reputation, 3) bullied me, and, 4) made vexatious comments to me that were unwelcome and were workplace harassment … in contravention of the council code of conduct”.

 Ms. Jackson buried that complaint.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“”Ana has voted against doing any beach maintenance whatsoever,” [Ms. Jackson] said.“

This is simply false.  And Ms. Jackson knows it is false.  Ana made a motion August 11, 2017 to do beach maintenance only with written permission from MNRF.  That’s nowhere near “Ana has voted against doing any beach maintenance whatsoever”.  Her motion was defeated by Ms. Jackson, Mr. Kirkland and councillor Jackson.

By ordering in the bulldozer, Ms. Jackson has breached the law, let the town take the blame, and made sure any consequences fall on the taxpayers, not on her.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Jackson said as mayor, she has seized every opportunity to advance the town. South Bruce Peninsula is experiencing an unprecedented opportunity for growth, she said, and the town requires “a progressive, forward-thinking mayor who isn’t afraid to make tough decisions.””

A second charge was filed by MNRF against the town last week, for bulldozing the beach and damaging piping plover habitat in the fall of 2017.  Ms. Jackson’s decision to break the law regarding the beach at Sauble brought legal costs of $175,000 on the residents (so far) and put the residents of TSBP at risk of having to pay fines of up to $3,000,000.  And even more charges could follow.  Was that one of Ms. Jackson’s “tough decisions”?  Was that decision “progressive” and “forward-thinking”? I think not.  It was a reckless and dumb decision.

(The misguided nature of many of Ms. Jackson’s “tough decisions” will be the subject of a future post.)

A vote for Janice Jackson is a vote for more bullying of anyone who dares to disagree, and for chaos, incivility and a toxic environment.

A vote for Ana Vukovic is a vote for honesty, integrity, transparency and civility.  And a lot of experience and common sense.

 

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One Response to Janice Jackson starts the mayoral race with a gratuitous and dishonest personal attack against her opponent Ana Vukovic (8-4)

  1. John Schnurr says:

    Here here me speaker!

    John Schnurr

    >

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