Friday, June 23, 2006

Mayor Wells - Major Hypocrite

Sometime last week Mayor Andy Wells received a telephone call from a woman telling him that she saw a dead and paint-covered squirrel near a paintball facility in Mt. Pearl.

So what did he do? He did the right thing and notified the SPCA and the city's Humane Services Division and asked them to investigate.

Way to go and so far so good.

Up until Tuesday afternoon, he had not yet received any information back from either of these two agencies. In fact he's seen no squirrels himself. He has no outside collaboration outside of this phone call. He has freely admitted he has no idea if the charges are true.

So, in full ignorance of any evidence or other factual information, Mayor Wells decided to take action on this issue and. . . go public?

On Tuesday afternoon he send out a fax to every news outlet letting the world know that he's received this complaint and that he's taking action. He was even good enough to name and locate the paintball company supposedly involved.

Was this at the request of the SPCA and the city's Humane Services Division as a way of furthering the investigation? He doesn't say. On Wednesday's CBC Morning Show, he said he just wanted to let the public know.

"That's all I can do", he said.

In fact he had many alternate choices of action, all of them more sensible, responsible and circumspect and he freely rejected all of them choosing to do otherwise. He could have awaited the results of the investigation by the proper authorities. He could have allowed those authorities to make their own inquiries about the possibility of other persons coming across pigment-coated rodent cadavers. He could have just stayed out of it since there was now little he could do until real information came in.

Instead he chose to jump into the media limelight and claim what little political credit he could out of this tempest in a teapot. At the same time he tarred and feathered a business without any shred of evidence whatsoever.

On Thursday, the CBC Morning Show ran another interview on this issue, this time with a justifiably annoyed paintball business owner. He said he had no idea what the mayor was talking about, that he had called Wells to talk about it and that Wells had apologized to him for naming the business.

Oddly, the Mayor, friend to the media that he is, declined to come on the air with CBC and repeat that apology.

What a hypocrite.

The next time the Mayor concludes "that's all I can do",he should try doing nothing at all instead and let the grown-ups take care of it.

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