"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 12 November 2017


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "ROBBERY IN EXCESS": 

"Councils past have always understood the Province does not sanction a municipal landlord function. 
It contradicts the basic principle of taxation."

Simple question then. Why has it been allowed? And don't tell me it was MorMac, that ship has sailed 


The Municipal Clerk is a Statutory officer who advises Council of applicable statutes to maintain Provincial law. Municipalities do not have a constitutional right to be.

The Ontario Municipal Act requires the town to retain the services of a certified Municipal Clerk.

The position requires practical experience in the clerk's department and certification in a course provided by Queen's University.

The Clerk normally sits within reach of the Mayor or presiding member to be able to intervene unobtrusively if Council is going off track.

It's not so easy to preferentially select a Municipal Clerk.

After the election and months of merciless public and private humiliation to persuade him, the town was eventually compelled to honour a legal contract. The CAO was replaced by an employee from York Region. The first of many.

$75,000 was budgeted to educate the new CAO.

Within weeks, without waiting to see how the administration functioned, re-organization was presented.

Several significant responsibilities including Human Resources  Bylaws and Communications 
were  transferred from the Clerk's Authority.

No pretext of improvement was offered and certainly none resulted.

The obvious objective was to reduce authority, status, and influence of the Clerk.

Municipal officials often shift in the last five years before retiring, to maximize pension benefits.

A five year contract was signed with the new Clerk.

Any time a majority of Councillors gather in one place, a meeting is deemed to have been held. 

Lots of meetings happened after council adjournment without official record.

A contract with the new Clerk was signed in November. The following August, the day after release of the Integrity Commissioner's decision on the complaint filed by The Mayor and five council cohorts, the Clerk's immediate departure was announced. The e-mail circulated by the CAO stated the Clerk had decided to retire early. 

The Clerk had followed Integrity Commissioner Act to the letter of the law. The decision was 
Intended never to see the light of day. 

The Integrity Commissioner had deemed the complaint purely political.

His contract was also terminated and another one bit the dust.

A powerful message was sent to all employees.

Successor Clerks  were eventually made subject to authority of the Town Solicitor, who in turn, was subject to authority of the CAO. Whose education was still being financed.

Eventually the Solicitor departed. He went on vacation and did not return.

Several clerk's later, the position is now, I believe, subject to authority of the Chief Building Official.

Under circumstances....not a better  move.

Consequences of all the shifting and shuffling have been many and disruptive.Most pronounced being unfinished construction of a $26 million Joint Operation Centre on the side of a ravine.

The question posed in the comment is why did the town, against its' own interest, lease a multi-million dollar asset for thirty years , if it's not allowed to under Provincial legislation?

The Clerk's job is to advise Council. Council  makes the decisions. 

The Mormac crew went one step further. They made sure advice received did not come from the Clerk. They did many things they shouldn't have.

Their authority was terminated by the election. 

Then some  things changed and some things remained the same.

The community is not well served. Hasn't been for years now. I'm not sure it ever will be again. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Way to go... you did not answer the question.