"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

Monday 14 September 2015


When houses on Glass Drive were built ,three or four at the bottom of my street experienced sewer back-ups during summers storms. The basement of Bull's house at the  corner of Holman and Glass 
was  completely empty. It filled with water in a storm.  

I was elected in 1967  as was  the late Peter Miller who owned one of the Glass Drive homes.it will always be Millers' house. 

The last flood was the worst. Water flowed out over the sill of the front door of Bull's house . I saw it. 

In one attempt to resolve the problem, valves had been installed on the sewer pipes to stop back-flow
Into the basements. 

Pete had installed a raised floor in his basement and created bedrooms.  Sewage got trapped under the floor and,wallboard,floor,furniture and a chest freezer had to be ripped out and thrown out. His neighbors suffered similar losses and contamination. 

The Town's insurance company refused to cover the claims. The storm was an Act of God they said.
They had argued the same previously without being challenged.

Now,with a Councillor directly impacted and another completely involved, the situation changed. Discussion took place in an open Council meeting. No fears of litigation,privacy issues or conflict of interest. 

None of the things that hamstring modern councils and serve everyone except taxpayers.

More questions were asked and  answers were less readily accepted.

It was true. The storm was an Act of God. It was also true, town services had failed repeatedly and God had nothing to do with that. 

The homeowners were eventually compensated for discounted value of their losses.

The insurance company made the stipulation they would not pay again. The town had better fix the problem. 

And the town  did. A drain was installed in the central manhole that took storm overflow to the creek. The problem did not re-occur. 

The point of this story is, the insurance company was persuaded by the town. The homeowners were entitled to compensation under the insurance coverage purchased for the purpose  by the town.

The fight was right. The outcome was fair. 

A new insurance company has made a decision to pay $850,000  to cover legal fees for litigation having  no connection to town business, benefitting none  but rogue members of council

An increase of 41% in  premiums in the year following the expenditure supports that coverage was not in place. Nor should it have been. 

What municipality can afford  insurance to cover politicians intent on doing harm. 

So the question that needs to be asked is ....why did they ?

The second question is... why has the question never been asked? Why  so little curiosity?

It's understood the first decision was to deny liability. It was logical and in keeping with what happens elsewhere. 

That decision was reversed. Legal counsel was assigned. 

The V.P. who attended Council by invitation stated normal policy is to advise settlement.

After several weeks .the counsel assigned was replaced. The defendants were not happy. If the V.P. Information given in a public meeting was accurate, the advice given and refused, was to settle.

The  insurance company allowed them to choose new counsel. 

Anyone who owns a home or a vehicle knows no- limit liability is not what  one expects from an insurance company. 

More to-morrow. 


Anonymous said...

It is interesting how they were allowed to shop around for representation. Also cost the town extra in the
micro-management dept.

Anonymous said...

If you have a retaining wall, you had better check the fine print on your insurance.
God spends a lot of time wrecking retaining walls for insurance companies if you can believe them

Anonymous said...

The entitled are everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Would the Town have taken the steps to convince the insurance company been done IF there was no councilor directly impacted? I would have to believe that there was undue pressure placed on the underwriter because there was a councilor involved.

Of course the other alternative for residents is to sue the town as well. Probably more expensive than the insurance claims.