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2010 grade: D
2009 grade: C
2008 grade: D
2007 grade: D+

David Hendsbee is the Brindi the dog of Halifax council. Brindi, who is one of Hendsbee’s constituents, found and exploited a crack in the bylaws and inserted her unmuzzled snout into it, costing the city a bundle in lawyers’ fees, so maybe Hendsbee is super-sensitive to the possibilities. Council will debate some policy proposal, and Hendsbee will inevitably dream up a series of absurd scenarios to warn against the policy. This happens at least once at every council meeting. One of my colleagues labels it the “Hendsbee hypothetical”; I’m reminded of the stoner talk in the bong circles at my college dorm.

Brindi also is famously disruptive, another quality embraced by Hendsbee. At the recent budget hearings, Hendsbee repeatedly printed something on the printer in the middle of the room, standing there in his garish Boston Bruins jacket, as councillors tried to talk to each other over or past him. Then he’d sit down, and his cellphone rang loudly, and he’d take the call. Annoying as all hell.

On the issues, Hendsbee supported the Herring Cove bike lanes and said interesting things about the council size issue. But he handled the Lake Major detour issue badly, not from any ill intent, but simply because he has a tin ear.

How to improve: Put the cellphone on vibrate and step away from the bong.

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