On May 28 I attended an “Invitation Only” meeting held by Ward 2 Councillor Fred Morison. Although not invited, I was asked to attend by a prominent Ward 2 businessman who received his invitation from the moderator of the meeting.

In attendance were 30 people consisting of “invited” prominent business owners from the Cayuga area, other invited guests, and four or five uninvited guests such as myself.

Being concerned about a number of issues raised by the meeting, I e-mailed Mr. Morison early the next morning. I followed up that e-mail with three text messages and a phone call, but at writing this (June 10th) Morison has still not responded.  My concerns were:

1. The moderator explained that Morison was sorry that the first version of the invitation included the words “Invitation Only,” adding that Morison was not aware of this detail. According to the moderator, when Morison found out about it, he asked that the “Invitation Only” line be removed and that the meeting be made public. Some in attendance did have invitations that didn’t bear the mention “Invitation Only,” but where was the public notice of the opening of this meeting to the public?

2. A constituent who had contacted Morison with concerns about the invitation posted this reply from Morison: “That’s why I’m having the meeting because there is so much BS out there. That invitation is not the one that I wrote odlr [sic] sent out. For starters I use spell checker and its not an invitation ‘only’ event. You would think that even an ‘on line’ paper might call me to get my comments. This group does not want the truth they are content slandering me, senior staff and the rest of you council.”

I asked Mr. Morison to confirm this statement, and reminded him that “this group” has not slandered him, senior staff or council, as anything printed has been researched and verified. Is he implying that “this group” fabricated or somehow distorted the invitation?

3. Later in the meeting questions were asked about the buildings by the bridge in Cayuga, including one about the garage. Morison stated that he and his wife own two of these buildings.  However, in responding to the question about a third building Morison made a derogatory comment about the owner. I found this offensive and degrading to the owner who was not in attendance to defend himself.

I let Mr. Morison finish his statement, but then called him on it.  Morison’s response was, “Give it up, Don.” I then left the meeting, disgusted at Morison’s display of disdain for not only the person he made the comment of but also for others who have criticized him in the past.

Does Morison not know, many people are aware of his written offer made in May 2015 to purchase the third property and rejected by the owner. Why say such a thing in the presence of the owner’s business peers? To his credit, Morison did stop by the next morning to offer the owner a vague apology.

On May 29th I sent these concerns to Morison, but since he has chosen not to respond to me, and since many others are interested in his responses, I am also submitting them to the press.

Don Baird, Cayuga