Frustrated James Street North merchants were outraged their city councillor skipped a meeting to air their concerns last night. "It's a disgrace," said businessman Glenn Hamilton, demanding to know why Bob Bratina didn't attend the meeting at City Hall. Bratina, found a few blocks away at Slainte, blamed his absence on a nap. "I had an exhausting day."
Bratina said he fell asleep when he got home from work and didn't wake up until 8:30 p.m., when he went to the bar. "I've been going all day at committee meetings." Bratina said he has attended all the James Street North Business and Merchants Association meetings and invests a lot of time into their concerns. "I've worked on all their issues."
Ron Burridge, president of the association, said he was "disappointed" by Bratina's absence. "He knows that we're here tonight," he told the crowd of about 50 people. He expected Bratina would attend the meeting, and even included him on the agenda, because the councillor helped book the room, Burridge said.
The meeting was particularly important, Burridge said, because it was a chance for all merchants to express their feeling about crime and drugs in the neighbourhood. "That's something he really should have heard."