Lethbridge city councillor Joe Mauro has missed 1 in 5 council meetings

Reading the article prompted me to comb through all the council meetings since 2017 to check the attendance record for city council. Here’s what I found.

A recent Lethbridge Herald article reported on a contentious debate between city councillors Joe Mauro and Rob Miyashiro. In the article, we find the following:

“Are you going to apologize for rambling on and on, and being unprepared for council all the time?” Miyashiro asked Mauro in return. “Are you going to apologize to council for wasting our time with all of your nonsense?”

This accusation reminded me of the claim I’ve seen from others that Mauro misses too many meetings. Reading the article prompted me to comb through all the council meetings (minus public hearings or Community Issues Committee meetings) since 2017 to check the attendance record for all 9 members of city council.

Here’s what I found.

From the first meeting after this city council was elected in 2017, there have been 78 city council meetings. Only two councillors—Belinda Crowson and Mark Campbell—attended all 78 meetings.

Only one councillor attended fewer than 70 meetings: Joe Mauro, which means he also attended the fewest meetings.

Actually, when you add up the absences of all the other members of city council, we find not only that Mauro missed the most meetings (16) but also that he missed nearly as many meetings as the rest of city council combined (20).

Missing 16 meetings doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but it actually works out to over 20%. For every 5 meetings that city council held, Mauro missed 1 of them.

The next most absent councillor was Blaine Hyggen, but he didn’t even miss half as many meetings as Mauro did. In fact, his 7 absences work out to be about 9% of the meetings.

Speaking of Hyggen and Mauro, they’re actually the only council members—so far—who’ve missed at least one meeting in each year of this term.

All members of city council other than Hyggen and Mauro attended all city council meetings in 2017. To be honest though, there were only 5 that year, since they were elected partway through October, and there was a holiday break in December. Attending just 5 meetings wasn’t really much of an accomplishment.

In 2018, Campbell and Crowson were the only ones who attended all 28 meetings. That being said, Jeff Carlson, Ryan Parker, and Mayor Chris Spearman each missed just one meeting. Mauro missed the most meetings (7), but Hyggen wasn’t next in line for the most meetings missed (2): that was Jeffrey Coffman and Miyashiro, who were both tied at 3 meetings missed.

Four city councillors attended all 27 meetings in 2019: Carlson, Campbell, Coffman, and Crowson. Spearman, Miyashiro, and Parker each missed just one meeting that year. Hyggen and Mauro bottomed out the list of meeting attendance, with 3 and 6 absences, respectively.

Like that of 2017, the data for 2020 is partial, given that we’re only a little more than halfway through the year. That being said, so far, everyone except Hyggen, Mauro, and Parker has attended all city council meetings; those three missed just 1 each.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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