"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

What Happened?

"What happened at last night's meeting? You said you'd keep us informed so I was surprised to find no entry today. Is everything okay?"
Hey look...I have learned how to cut and paste.

Council deliberations were for the first time, live on Rogers Cable. It was a marathon. Council moved behind closed doors, at ten minutes past ten with the solicitor, who had been in the chamber since eight o'clock .

I came home and watched the rest on television.

When council re-emerged, a statement of complaint against me, signed by six members of Council was read into the record. The Mayor directed the document be posted on the Town's web site and published in two local newspapers.

A major criteria for registering a complaint is confidentiality.The purpose is obvious.A written accusation of wrong-doing is fraught with legal liability.

The role of an Integrity Commissioner is required to be independent and impartial.

It is hard for me to see how a Council, hiring a solicitor at public expense, to investigate a fellow Councillor and instruct him to come up with precise material for a written argument to support a complaint against said Councillor, complies with principles of conduct conducive to good faith and the respectful relationship espoused by the Code of Conduct.

The strict rules of confidentiality of the process may mean I will not be able to share all of the experience as we go along.

It is my understanding the rules of confidentiality have already been breached by multiple publications of the formal complaint.

There is no confidentiality attached to the informal step in the process.

I was asked by a councillor at the in-camera meeting, in the presence of Mr. Mascarin after he presented his report, to apologise, retract and commit not to do it any more.

I responded; if the Councillor would list examples of my being "factually incorrect" and other implied misdemeanours and present them to me, I would consider his request.

A second step in the informal process was a letter from the Mayor's office, prepared by Mr. Mascarin I believe, bearing signatures of six members of Council making the same demand for apology,retraction and commitment not to do it any more, to be responded to by a deadline.

I did respond to the letter that I was unable to identify specific examples of implied nefarious conduct therefore I was unable to conform to the request.

Mr Mascarin subsequently stated in a public report that I had adamantly refused the informal request

He wrote that I had published my response to the Mayor, prior to making a response to the Mayor's letter of informal demands to be met by a deadline.

My daughter Heather delivered my response to the Town Hall.

She had been working all day in my garden. It is a mess. It was neglected last year when I had my hip joint replacement surgery. I'm getting along fine,Thank you.

Heather went out to get chlorine and muriatic acid at Donnie Smith's pool shop and hand deliver the letter.She called me from the intersection traffic lights at Mary Street and Wellington
to ask if I was sure she should go into the Town Hall."I'm pretty grubby" she said.

"Yes" said I. "The envelope needs to be stamped with the time and date received"

She did that and called me again after. It was 4.29p.m. I posted my letter to the Blog at that time and forwarded it to The Auroran as a Letter to the Editor immediately after.

The Mayor's letter was not marked confidential. The informal process is not required to be confidential. I did not publish the Mayor's letter. I published my own.

Thanks to all of you, for your concern and expressions of support. I am in good spirits I sleep well.I look forward to watching and being a part of the process as it evolves in whatever direction it takes.

Check out the latest picture of my great-grandbaby twins, Reid and Claire on my personal Blog.


Anonymous said...

goodness gracious

I don't even know what to say


My Kinda Town said...

In the episode "The Drumhead," Jean-Luc Picard states, "We think we’re come so far: torture of heretics, burning of witches is all ancient history. Then, before you can blink an eye, suddenly it threatens to start all over again. Villains who twirl their moustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well-camouflaged. But she or someone like her will always be with us, waiting for the right climate in which to flourish, spreading fear in the name of righteousness. Vigilance. Vigilance is the price we have to continually pay."


Richard Johnson said...

Speaking of confidential... you might want to ask Mayor Morris why she read the details of a letter clearly marked CONFIDENTIAL from PowerStream, to a council meeting that was being taped for all the world to see. Her Worship's lapse may well have been intentional given that she clearly wanted a desired outcome to the whole power supply issue, but of course we can't possibly get to the truth given that history and facts seem to re-write themselves so easily these days.

On a related matter, the whole issue as to why Councillor MacEchern has been permitted to be so rude and unprofessional with the Mayor's apparent full blessing, is yet another issue that has yet to be addressed and this point may well point to either a gap in the town's code of conduct, or at the very least its loose and apparently convenient interpretation.