One of the difficulties of being on council is that people have higher expectations of your behaviour, so that actions that you take (or don't take) get more attention than when you were just a member of the public. That seems to be unfair to some people, but it goes with the job. You can't just enjoy the photo ops when they benefit you or your causes - news is what people are interested in, not what you think is important, (but please don't talk about the potentially embarrassing stuff).
Partly this is because the public is now paying your salary, and when they find out that you have not behaved in a way that meets their expectations, they are quite free to voice their opinions - they are your boss. I have received more than a few phone calls from people since the tax arrears of the company for which one councillor is listed as an officer were made public- how could this have happened? I explain that it's not against the rules, but my opinion (and this is shared by the callers), is that it should be. If a company that you have interest in doesn't believe in paying their share of the costs of running the city, it raises all kinds of questions about how you can make decisions that are in the best interests of the city, on all matters.
People don't think that it is right for them to subsidize (for several years) the operations of a company. I think that it must be even more frustrating for the other downtown businesses, as the Downtown Business Improvement District is funded directly through their taxes, and here's one company that has not been paying their share, but still participating as if they were.
And don't give me that stuff about how it's the company, not the individual. The public knows that companies don't operate in a vacuum; they are set up to protect the private assets of an individual, but it's the individuals that still make the decisions of the company. And when other decisions of the company come to light that provide even more information about how a company operates, like hoping to avoid paying bills by exceeding the statute of limitations, it provides further insight into the integrity of the company's officers.
Integrity, of course, is fundamental to building trust. How you behave, both in public and in your private dealings, should be consistent. It's like the adage that you shouldn't marry someone who doesn't treat waitresses well - that's an insight into their true character that is invaluable.
It's unfortunate that this information wasn't made public before the election. I've mentioned before that members of council were bound by their oath of confidentiality for matters that have been discussed in camera, but there was nothing stopping the news media from checking on tax arrears. Perhaps if they hadn't been so focused on digging up dirt on one mayoral candidate, they would have found what has turned out to be something that actually affects taxpayers. But again, I don't make those decisions.
Having this kind of negative attention may not be pleasant, but it goes with the job. If you don't like it, pay what you owe, apologize, and remember that once you are a public figure, in this age of Google, you can't expect to be able to hide any embarrassing secrets.
"Characterize people by their actions, and you will never be fooled by their words." - Anonymous