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Hebert's council meeting attendance flawless

When it comes to city council meeting attendance, Coun. Larry Hebert is Mr. Perfect.
Larry Hebert 1
Coun. Larry Hebert is the only member of city council who has attended every open and closed meeting since Dec. 2, 2014.

THUNDER BAY -- When it comes to city council meeting attendance, Coun. Larry Hebert is Mr. Perfect. 

Halfway through council's 2014 to 2018 term, the at large councilor hasn't missed a single open or closed meeting of the 147 city council has held.

Even beyond council's current term, Hebert claims he has yet to miss a meeting since he was first elected 11 years ago. 

"I get elected to represent the public and I think I can best represent them if I'm there all the time," he said.

Hebert believes consistent communication with the public and administration is the greatest benefit of his attendance record. 

He was quick to point out he sits on the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association and Thunder Bay Municipal League boards, both of which tend not to hold meetings that conflict with council's Monday evening schedule.   

"Your commitment is to council and I don't doubt anybody's commitment that's on council currently but they also want to represent the city by bringing our issues to Toronto or Ottawa or elsewhere," he said. 

"That's fair too. So you can represent the city in different ways." 

Hebert's perfect attendance record leads second place Westfort Coun. Joe Virdiramo, who missed 13 meetings and Northwood Coun. Shelby Ch'ng who missed 14.

Red River Coun. Brian McKinnon missed 28 meetings, the most among sitting councilors. He said his committee schedule takes him out of council chambers. 

"I'm on the Intergovernmental Committee and we miss more than most people. I'm on the Sister Cities Committee," McKinnon said.  

"I have nothing to hide, that's for sure. It's mostly city business." 

McKinnon's total is one more than Current River Coun. Andrew Foulds who missed 27. Ten of Foulds' missed meetings occurred under a leave of absence.   

Most council sessions include both an open and closed meeting. They are counted here as separate meetings in all circumstances, as some councilors attended one of those meetings and not the other.   

Thunder Bay city council absence record 2014-2016
(based on a total of 147 open and closed meetings)

Larry Hebert0
Joe Virdiramo13
Shelby Ch’ng14
Keith Hobbs17
Frank Pullia 21
Linda Rydholm21
Rebecca Johnson22
Paul Pugh23
Iain Angus24
Trevor Giertuga24
Aldo Ruberto24
Andrew Foulds:27*
Brian McKinnon28

*Coun. Andrew Foulds missed 10 meetings during a leave of absence he took through August and September, 2015.