“Shut up”, mayor tells councillor

Discussion of a potential mask bylaw heated up when Mayor Tom Tarpey abruptly told Councillor Colin Needham, “Shut up” during debate.

Microphone problems occurred preventing Needham from being heard as he asked for an apology from the mayor. After a recess to deal with malfunctioning council microphones, Needham asked if he had heard Tarpey correctly.

“I said you didn’t have the floor, and now you do,” Tarpey responded.

Needham asks again if he heard correctly that the mayor said, “Shut up.”

“You may very well have heard that, but you didn’t have the floor,” Tarpey responded.

“I was going to ask you for an apology. I didn’t think that was a very appropriate way to speak to a colleague. And I should also add, a friend,” Needham said.

“I think if you wanted to be the mayor you should have run as mayor. I’m running the meeting and you need to be recognized before you can speak,” Tarpey said.

Needham replied he “understood” and the meeting continued.

Councillor Byron Schamehorn said it’s clear from the tone of the discussion how controversial the issue is.

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