"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

Sunday 13 December 2009

It Hit The Fan.....Again

On the morning after the last Council meeting of the year, Chief Administrative Officer Neil Garbe circulated an e-mail informing Council and all staff of the appointment of a Director of Corporate and Financial Services.

My reaction was immediate and swift.

In April, Mr.Garbe informed Council behind closed doors he had made an appointment on an interim contract, without recruitment, to the position of Chief Financial Officer to replace John Gutteridge. Mr. Gutteridge gave three months notice. I informed Mr. Garbe he did not have the authority. The decision rests with Council.

Mine was the only dissenting voice.

The Treasurer is a statutory officer. The appointment must be legislated. Only Council has the power to legislate.

A Bylaw was passed after the fact.

On October 6th . Behind closed doors Mr Garbe had advised of his intention to make the interim appointment permanent. Again I disagreed with the process. When I believed the discussion had ended I left the meeting.

Since then I asked in a public meeting when recruitment was going to start for the Post of Treasurer.

The Mayor responded Mr. Garbe has authority to appoint. I disagreed. I referred to the Recruitment policy mandated by the Province.

Two months passed, Nothing further was reported. Until Wednesday morning and Mr. Garbe's announcement by e-mail.

In a nutshell, I responded; when the authority of Council is not respected, it is disrespected.

I clicked hard on Reply. Only it wasn't. It was Reply All. My response went to every soul employed by the Town of Aurora. For the next two days I received a stream of acknowledgements my message had been read . Along with other communications.

I was informed Council had approved the appointment.

Since the Province legislated the right of citizens to seek investigation of closed door meetings ,
the practice has been for decisions made therein to be ratified by resolution.

I asked for the record. I have yet to receive it.

I pointed out decisions made behind closed doors must be, according to legislation, reported out.

When did that happen?

The appointment must be made by Bylaw. Council must direct a bylaw be prepared Please forward the record of those proceedings.

My last request was sent after business on Friday. The information has not been provided.

Instead, I am informed the Bylaw to appoint will be processed on January 26th

It is Council's prerogative to direct a Bylaw be prepared. The direction has not been given.

Two months passed after the discussion behind closed doors. No decision had been reported out.

Mr. Cooper was Acting Clerk of the Municipality. after the precipitate departure of our former Clerk, Lucille King.

The morning after the last meeting of the year, Council was informed by the Chief Administrative Officer of the appointment of a statutory officer.

Without due authority.

I have not told the full exchange between myself and Mr. Garbe. It is not necessary for you to know.

It is certainly necessary for you to know when your elected council is being disrespected. When Council is disrespected...you are.

I have no doubt with full concurrence of the Head of Council.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I don't understand how the Municipal Act is contravened time and time again, procedural by-law is not followed and the Mayor sweeps it under the rug when it suits her, and makes sure there's hell to pay when it doesn't. Is the now non-existent integrity commissioner supposed to intervene, or is it the Ministry of Municipal Affairs? If there are no consequences, this farcical behaviour will continue. Why even have a Municial Act at all if it can be disregarded at will?

Something Fishy in Aurora said...

I notice her Royalness has responded to your "letter to the editor" in this weeks Auroran.