Hamilton's mayor is being labelled "ageist" for appointing a new 30-something as deputy chair of a committee and accused of rewarding his inner circle for voting for his pet projects.
Hamilton councillor James Casson posted on his public Facebook page on Thursday that the "jobs for the boys" concept was not dead after learning a councillor who has only been in the role for four months had beaten him and others to the position.
When asked what he meant by the cryptic post, Casson said mayor Andrew King had decided to appoint new councillor Ryan Hamilton to the role of deputy chair of community and services committee despite both he and fellow councillor Siggi Henry expressing interest in it last year.
Casson said he was told by King last week that he was recommending newly elected councillor Ryan Hamilton for the role because he was "young".
Hamilton is at least 12 years younger than the next youngest councillor Angela O'Leary.
"But I said to him Andrew I'm not old. That's verging on ageism. You've picked someone because they are young," the 53-year-old said.
"I actually mentioned to the mayor after he told me, 'well that's jobs for the boys isn't it Andrew and he said, 'oh he's young and keen'."
Casson said he would have accepted if the mayor had given the position to Henry because she attended all the public functions and was active in the community, but he did not believe Hamilton had been in the role long enough to prove himself.
Casson said the mayor had told him a few months before the long term plan deliberations that he would make a decision about the deputy chair after it was completed and "he saw how all the councillors were going".
He also told Casson he wanted his support on expanding the central city park in the long term plan - something Casson said him he could not do because of the cost.
"I just think there's a total lack of integrity there I really do. When he does that sort of thing," Casson said.
Henry said she was stunned when King told her Hamilton was getting the job because he was young.
"Being young does not make you the right person for the job."
She had been attending community events with former councillor Philip Yeung after he took her under his wing as a new councillor and decided to keep doing that after his death.
"Has he (Hamilton) shown that he's really interested and that he's keen - well we actually haven't seen him at that many events yet."
She also believed voting against some of King's projects in the long term plan including the entire budget had ruled out any chance she may have had.
Hamilton was unaware there was some contention among councillors over him being offered the role and had not wanted to upset anyone.
"He (King) presented me with the offer and I said certainly if Paula (Southgate - the chair) is happy with that I'm keen to get stuck in. I'm already involved in the community with various trusts and things and I just saw it as a neat opportunity and a natural transition."
Hamilton, who is 38, said although he had only been on council four months, other councillors such as Casson and Henry were also only in their first term and had only been on council for 18 months.
Deputy mayor Martin Gallagher has been the acting deputy chair since councillor Mark Bunting had it revoked from him for sending an offensive meme to journalist Angela Cuming.
Bunting only held the role for a short time after taking over the role following the death of councillor Philip Yeung last year.
Community and services chairwoman Paula Southgate said she had told the mayor that she would work with whoever he chose.
King did not respond to the Herald.
Last month, King was criticised for singling out councillors after he only invited five to his house the day prior to the long term plan to encourage them to vote for his key projects including the Peacocke housing development, south of Hamilton.