"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

Thursday, 3 May 2012

What Have We Here?

May 02, 2012 - 2:22 PM
Newmarket's conduct code 'toothless': Kerwin
An issue between councillors shouldn’t be resolved with taxpayer dollars, according to Dave Kerwin.
The Ward 2 councillor plans to bring forward a motion at the next Newmarket council meeting to throw out a code of conduct bylaw that governs councillor-to-councillor complaints, rather than watch the 123 items council has to deal with in the next three months pushed aside because of complaints.
“If you have a problem with another member of council, figure it out yourself and don’t waste the taxpayers’ dollars,” he said. “Our code is toothless and a waste of time.”
The code of conduct was approved by council in 2007, but the first recorded complaint was early last year, according to an internal memo from CAO Bob Shelton to council members.
The memo goes onto say, to date, Mr. Shelton has been involved in one staff complaint against a council member and two complaints between council members, which have been resolved. One required a meeting during which Mr. Shelton and Mayor Tony Van Bynen were present, along with the two council members.
Residents have also filed complaints against council members, which have since been withdrawn. At one point, one of the resident complaints involved eight council members.
Upon legal advice, Mr. Shelton was unable to identify those accused or those filing the complaints.
“Although the number of complaints is relatively small, these matters require careful consideration and legal advice and other information gathering can be quite sensitive,” Mr. Shelton said.
As CAO, he admits it is difficult being asked to resolve conflicts between members of a council, to whom he directly reports. It also takes the CAO and another staff member away from completing their regular duties.
About 25 hours have been spent attending to these complaints and the municipality has paid external costs for legal advice, he confirmed.
While council continues to debate whether or not to approve the CAO’s request to bring in a third party, at a cost of $50,000, to deal with code of conduct complaints, it agreed any complaints between its members will be dealt with by council behind closed doors rather than by the CAO


So...let's see what we have here. 

Newmarket adopted a Code of Conduct in 2007. No Integrity Commissioner Considerable savings of public resources. .

Aurora had two Integrity Commissioners.  The second with a contract beyond  the term of  council.that cost $40,000. The first   on  retainer six months before the contract was signed . 

Then "stripped of authority" in  the time it took to file a complaint and have it dismissed as less than kosher.

 But the retainer fee would  continue according to the contract. Small things like that didn't disturb Aurora Council .2006/10

The second Commissioner dealt with two complaints filed at the same time by one of the same Councillors who signed the first complaint  against the same Councillor first  complained about . The two complaints  were  not dealt with  in accordance with any process  known to man but produced precisely  the  result paid for. Therefore he was  not  "stripped of his authority"

First Integrity Commissioner ''stripped of his authority" but not fast enough to invalidate hs first decision.. Which was , to find the complaint filed against the same Councillor by six  Councillors,  one of whom filed the  second two complaints, ..... "to be wholly political"
in nature.

In Newmarket,  minimal activity under the Code of Conduct.. Names of complainants and 
"accused"   mot revealed " upon legal advice."   Therefore  collateral damage against all parties avoided  

In Aurora , $70,000  spent on legal services   to  "investigate" a law abiding citizen and Councillor,  by a lawyer and for him to report what he perceived to be the meaning of comments and statements  made by said Councillor  and  write  the  complaint  against said Councillor, to be published  in every venue available.,. also at public expense.

Members of Newmarket Council should be directed to  read  this blog and steer  considerable more than the short distance between our  two towns,  away from an infernal code of conduct  and  costs thereof, including  clear and direct potential  for humiliating  results in the next  municipal election....no matter how far distant. 

Since when does any red-blooded  politician worth his or her salt need to avail themselves of  panty-waist  Codes of Conduct , Integrity Commissioners , lawyers and  publishers.

Duke it out  in the political  arena as Nature  and the Gods intended.

The populace will deplore it and exalt  it at the same time. 

Awareness  in the Town's affairs will be maintained at the highest level possible. 

Can that be bad?   .   

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