North Bay City Councillor Jeff Serran says he had no intention of voting in favour of a motion to direct the CAO to initiate a costing for OPP policing in the city.
Serran feels that it has been portrayed that he switched camps or changed his mind when it came to the policing question that has drawn plenty of interest in the city. He says this is simply not true.
Comments from the mover, Councillor Mark King made it seem as though he thought he had the support from around the table (perhaps including Serran’s vote). Serran himself admits that he thought the motion had a good chance to pass, depending on how many of his colleagues had conflicts and how many were absent.
As it turns out, Councillors King, Anthony, and Mayne supported the motion to cost OPP services, while Mayor Al McDonald and Councillors Serran and Vaillancourt opposed. Councillors Bain and Vrebosch were not present at the meeting and Deputy Mayor Forgette and Councillors Shogren and Maroosis declared conflicts. The 3-3 result means a defeated motion.
King gave notice of reconsideration of the motion, to be addressed at the February 13 regular meeting.
The confusion over Serran’s place in the voting breakdown may have come from King’s comments following the meeting when he stated that few councillors have the backbone to effect change. What was wrongly interpreted as Serran having changed his mind was, in reality, King expressing frustration that Serran had not been swayed.
Days after the vote, Serran maintains that he had been asked, and refused, to second the motion, was repeatedly asked which way he was leaning, but gave no assurances to anyone about the way he would vote. In fact, Serran says his stance never wavered from voting against a motion that he says would cost the taxpayers money.