Mayoral collars are a British tradition derived from livery collars going back to the 14th century. The origins of which can be read on Brampton’s website here: http://www.brampton.ca/en/City-Hall/Office-Mayor/about-the-mayor/Pages/Chain-of-Office.aspx
Clr. Buck has commented on the inappropriateness of newly minted members of regional council wearing them in a 2010 post here:
It is not surprising that several municipalities have protocols with respect to the chains. Toronto’s can be read here: http://www.toronto.ca/protocol/mayor_chainofoffice.htm
The Mayor wears the Chain of Office on ceremonial occasions when he appears in his official capacity, as a mark of pride in the city in which we live. It also acknowledges the responsibilities, authority and dignity which are attached to the office of the Chief Magistrate of the city of Toronto.
Ceremonial events where the Chain of Office would be worn: First Meeting of Council, Mayor’s Levee and Official visits.
Notice where it states “First Meeting of Council” not all meetings of council.
This seems to be the same as Selkirk Manitoba:
King Township liked Selkirk’s wording so much they blatantly plagiarized it for their site here:
One major change however is where it states “The Mayor wears the Chain of Office to ALL Council meetings”.
As the chains have absolutely no effect on meetings what purpose does this serve?
Its not as if these chains possess some magical power.
When former and one term mayor Morris wasn’t rattling her chains of office (see http://auroracitizen.ca/2010/10/02/ethics-are-a-funny-thing-when-campaigning/ ) she had a jacket custom printed to read “Mayor” on the back. As tacky as Mayor Quimby’s sash I commented on it in a previous post here:
After she was soundly defeated in the 2010 election I naturally assumed with the return of reason the costume jewelry that was always in our face would go back in the box, to be brought out only for special occasions, as is their purpose.
Mayor Dawe seems however to enjoy the look having worn the chains to every council meeting I have witnessed up until this summer.
Here he is at the July 16th meeting in full “Pimp My Mayor” fashion:
Contrast that with the August 13th meeting looking all “Dude where’s my chains?”:
The council meeting of August 13th proceeded just like all the ones that came before it, the absence of the chains had no effect. There seemed to be no confusion as to who the mayor was, with the exception of some of the usual suspects of course.
Plain clothes makes the presiding member look more accessible and connected to his peers at the table and community as a whole.
Even Mr. T stopped wearing his trademark gold chains after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina surely our mayor can follow his example and break away from the chain gang enough to put away the bling and get on business.