Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis would make a great Sourdough Sam, according to Dave Stockdale, who offered the backhanded compliment on Monday night.
The city councillor refused to apologize for the remark, even after Coun. Mike Gladish asked him to.
“I will not. Don’t put me in that position, because I am not going to apologize,” Stockdale told council.
Stockdale’s comment came after Coun. Jocelyn Curteanu mentioned that one of the organizers of Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous had suggested that mayor or council volunteer for an event next year.
Earlier, Stockdale challenged Curtis when the mayor called a point of order. Council was discussing a recommendation that the city contribute $6,000 to Breakdancing Yukon Society’s CypherFest International Breakdancing Festival in July.
Stockdale said he had three questions. But Gladish, who was chairing the community services committee that was bringing forward the report, said the veteran councillor could only ask two.
After Stockdale asked his questions, Curtis asked for permission to make his own comments. But Stockdale cut the mayor off. “Do we have a question, or a speech?” he asked.
The mayor called a point of order. Stockdale debated that.
“I will not permit argument, debate or challenges to my ruling,” Curtis said later. Council had decided members could only ask one question at a time. They have to wait to see if anyone else has questions before asking another.
But Stockdale doesn’t like this arrangement, he told council. This change was not made at a council meeting, he said. The Procedures Bylaw that outlines how meetings should be run is still being reviewed, he said. It hasn’t been passed by council, and any changes need to be debated.
“This is a debating forum: committee of the whole,” Stockdale said. “If we can’t debate it here, we can’t debate it at all.”
But it was a standing committee meeting. And city bylaws say the mayor is the umbrella chair at these meetings, meaning he is responsible for keeping the meeting’s decorum, Curtis explained after the meeting.
Curtis was “disappointed” by the exchange, he said.
“I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful,” he told reporters. “I was trying to get him to be respectful.” But because council is like a family, said Curtis, he expects the issue will be resolved soon.