"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

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Things Have To Be Seen To Be Right

Anonymous has left a new comment.

This entire subject is stupid beyond all of the words that have been written about it the past few months.

The present agreement is seriously flawed, as identified quite specifically by the Town Solicitor in an early December report.

At the time of drafting the Town's interest was represented by a legal clerk. This of itself is a joke.

This is an example of what happens in federal politics when legislators discuss the cost of a dozen pencils, a subject about which they presumably know lots, vs. the cost of a proposed jet fighter aircraft involving billions of dollars. They spend days on the pencils and don't ask a single question with respect to the plane, relying on expert advice.

So it is with culture - everyone's an expert and they have the opinions to prove it.

By the way, I think our mayor is decent, not fine, and after 16 months in office is no longer new.


I have posted the comment in its entirety but the sentence I want to respond to is the following;

"At the time of drafting the Town's interest was represented by a legal clerk. This of itself is a joke"

Neither "stupid"nor  "joke" are words I would use in this context. 

A question was asked of  the town solicitor in the public meeting, "who was responsible for writing the agreement?"

He responded he had not been able to uncover that information but explained the town was without a solicitor at the time and a law clerk dealt  with  the agreement.

The solicitor   had been asked to review the agreement. He was not asked to name names of those  responsible. . To do so in a public , without direction from Council, would have lead to " discussion  of identifiable individuals "

I mentioned at the time of presentation, the report was discreet in that it did not name  responsible parties.

A question directed  during a public meeting, did not allow for discretion. He skirted around it but his answer was misleading.

The solicitor  was not on staff at the time of the agreement. He had to search  records to discover what there was. When he presented the report, it was more than I hoped for but I  did  note his discretion in not providing names.

In fact, the minutes of the meeting when  the agreement was approved , was the same night a  new town solicitor was appointed. He was present at the meeting.

I  argued there had  been insufficient time for council to  read and understand the agreements..

An amendment was  passed directing  the agreement be reviewed by the solicitor and any modifications considered necessary be referred back to council.

Responsibility to follow Council's direction is shared. The norm is for  the  Clerk who is the statutory officer  to ensure council's  direction is followed.

The Chief Administrative Officer has  the same responsibility.

It never happened.

Furthermore, the town is never without access to legal services. Council approves a roster of external legal firms to take care of matters beyond the expertise of the town solicitor.

We  also had an interim solicitor available  when required.

The  Chief Financial Advisor  also a statutory officer was on  hand.

Considering the outflow of town resources without accountability input from the Chief FInancial Advisor would have been critical.

We are now informed  the only lawyer involved in preparing  the agreements, represented  the Culture Centre Board. 

Only on  February 28th, did we know, who  was the  only lawyer involved in the agreements which  were totally  adverse to the town's interest . His fees were paid by the town.

The current claim  a  legal clerk  represented the town's interest is anything but  a joke.

Under the circumstances  it  cannot be accepted as a fact, either.

I am not certain we have plumbed the depth of the arrangements for a  contract between the town and the Culture Centre Board.

I am still uncovering disturbing details.

I am certain however the town's interest is not served.

Nothing can be redeemed by a new agreement. .
The public cannot be assured their interest is being served.

Dragging "negotiations" out over a period of twelve months, while public funds  continue to flow freely out of the town treasury cannot be seen to be appropriate. .

In a four year term of  agreement, two  million dollars of public funds will have been transferred by the town's chief financial officer to a  board with  rent free use of a public facility and no public accountability that holds secret meetings and keeps no records.

I will keep pounding the point home until council and the community recognise the seriousness of what is afoot.

The current council did not create the mess, but we are, up to this point in time, responsible for maintaining it. 




Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Possibly the blogger meant to say that if the agreement had been properly drafted in the first place then "all the words that have been written about it the past few months" would have been unnecessary.

"Joke" might be used in the sense of "expressing mocking disbelief."

The present Town Solicitor, in his report of December 6, 2011, states: "Despite the absence of a lawyer in the Town's employ to oversee the required work, no permission was granted to retain external legal counsel at that time for this matter. However, the Town's General Municipal/Litigation Law Clerk, was directed to provide on-going advice with respect to this matter and draft the required agreements." There are three of these, by the way.

The then-Mayor was a signatory to the agreements on the part of the Town. She has stated on her campaign literature some sort of legal study. Possibly she and the Law Clerk drafted the three agreements.

This entire subject is boring beyond belief. What will be interesting is the selection process for the two Councillors to serve on the Ad Hoc Committee.

Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

There is nothing that we know that would eliminate the possibility that the then-Mayor, working with Evalina and Damir, did not draw up the agreement. Never ones to play by rules, written or unwritten, it is in the scope of their operations'
This is further argued by the petulant "yawns " comment that followed your post. Tries to divert when you get too close. Just my guess but fits the character.