"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

Saturday 4 July 2015

Q and A

Today A question is asked  about siignatures during the period of  circulating acting-interim -responsibility of CAO in town administration 

I don't believe there's an issue. 

Town cheques bear two signatures; the Mayor's  and Treasurer's. Security is the objective. 
Theoretically, both signatures  guarantee propriety. 

I'm not sure how effective the security if the parties are aligned on the same side of the operation.

For example if  both believe it appropriate for a Mayor to personally retain legal counsel for a purpose having nothing to do with town function and more to do with obsessive compulsion. 

A Treasurer is  a  Statutary  Officer. I  have always understood that to mean legal  authority and responsibility to ensure adherence to Provincial Statutes 

Bylaws and Contracts also require signatures of Mayor and Municipal Clerk. 

The Municipal Clerk and Deputy Clerk  are also Statutory Officers with a wider role and many separate responsibilities including Commissioner of Oaths. 

Unlike Clerk and Treasurer, no Statutary authority attaches to a Chief Administrative Officer . 

I believe I have only seen CAO signature on Reports to Council. 

Reports of Directors bear signatures of the Director and CAO.  Reports form a record. The record is confirmed by By-law at the end of every Council Meeting. 

CAO is not a statutory officer. 

You know, I do not claim  professional status.  My understanding of process comes from 
engagement  in town affairs over a lengthy period . Laws change and sometimes lapse. 

The less collective experience  or common sense exists on a Council, the easier to mislead.

That they might be misled by StatutRy Officers  is unthinkable but it happens.

When it happens, it is inexcusable. 

Public servants are not immune to bad judgement. 

If I put a fact forward in a blog it can be challenged. Corrections will be published. 

If I make conjecture or offer opinion, readers may disagree. 

The conjecture or opinion is mine to offer and the blog is also mine.  


Anonymous said...

Then state your opinion and conjecture as such, and not as indisputable fact.

Anonymous said...

I think there was a point made early in the last term that this mayor did not require that he sign every document. He wished to be able to spend his time elsewhere. I thought at the time that this meant the various heads of departments signed in his place with the clerk and the COA. Then that clerk was replaced so your question is good. I have no idea who has been signing documentation.

Anonymous said...

Then-Cllr Gallo challenged the increase in the # of people who could sign for various things. I must have dozed off so I can't recall how the discussion went but I don't think he changed the practice.

Anonymous said...

If I recall, but could be wrong. Was there a motion in last term council where staff asked for an increase to the amount they could spend without council approval? And it got passed?

Anonymous said...

Correct - it is now a considerable amount.
In more positive news: I saw 2 bumble-bees today on a flowering shrub.
Niether had signing authority but they were welcome.

Anonymous said...

Considering the blunder in the spending, I wonder if anyone is courageous enough to bring a motion to decrease it. Who wants to bet no one?

Anonymous said...

I am hoping you are wrong. there appear to be a couple of new councillors not taking too kindly to be made look stupid or incompetent.

Anonymous said...

9:00 - There are 2 new councillors like that, although I have seen them "tow the line" so to speak on a couple of issues.