News / Halifax

Mayor's office gets second letter complaining about Coun. Matt Whitman's social media use

"He doesn’t represent what I want in a councillor and certainly not what I expect out of a deputy mayor"

Matt Whitman

Metro file

Matt Whitman

Mayor Mike Savage’s office confirmed Friday they have received a second letter expressing concern about deputy mayor Matt Whitman’s use of social media.

On Thursday, Scott Warnica went public with his three-page letter of complaint, outlining concerns with Whitman’s social media use on several specific occasions.

He called on the mayor’s office to investigate whether Whitman’s online comments violated the code of conduct for elected officials.

On Friday afternoon, Savage confirmed his office was now in receipt of a second letter.

“There has certainly been another letter that has indicated that they want it investigated,” he said.

“Under Administrative Order 52 it goes to council for council to determine what happens.”

Savage said the matter will appear before regional council either next week or the week after.

“Council will have a discussion around it and would look at some legal advice and how to deal with it and what the options are and make a decision,” he said.

The mayor’s office couldn’t yet identify the author of the second letter.

“My understanding is the second one would have to be distributed by the Clerk’s Office when the matter becomes part of the Council agenda,” spokeswoman Shaune MacKinlay said in an email. 

“In the first one, the member of the public (Warnica) copied media.”

In an interview, Warnica said he was prompted to write his letter following what he deemed “inappropriate comments” Whitman made on Twitter after a resident in his district was issued a ticket for using a plow on his ATV. 

In that Tweet, Whitman used the hashtags #PowerTrip and #GetALife to describe the officer.

Warnica, an RCMP officer, issued that ticket. But he said the concerns he outlined in his letter date back three years and refer to “overall extreme and unprofessional behaviour” on Whitman's part. 

"To me he doesn’t represent what I want in a councillor and certainly not what I expect out of a deputy mayor," Warnica said.

He wants an apology from Whitman.

“He shows no respect and he doesn’t allow the processes that are in place to follow their natural course and come up with a solution. He simply jumps on a bandwagon with half-truths and runs with it,” Warnica said. 

“I think this process if nothing else will make him stop and think about exactly what he’s tweeting and exactly what he’s doing in the future. I am trying to modify his behaviour.”

When reached for comment, Whitman replied via email that he intends to comment on the matter publicly on Tuesday. 

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