November 3 Council Meeting On, Off, On And Off Again

Commentary by Linda Saxon

An October 20 post that the November 3 meeting would be held was subsequent to a petition to Paula Parker to call a special meeting following Mayor Wayne Hurst’s postponement of meetings.

A day later, the town posted a notice on its website that the November 3 meeting was postponed and rescheduled to Monday, November 17, 2014.

Are the Municipal Act and the town’s procedural by-law both not being complied with? Both are quite clear and specifically contain a mandatory clause for when the clerk shall call a meeting:

Section 240. of the Act: Subject to the procedure by-law passed under section 238,
(b) upon receipt of a petition of the majority of the members of council, the clerk shall call a special meeting for the purpose and at the time mentioned in the petition.

Procedural By-Law Section 9. b) the clerk shall summon a special meeting upon receipt of a petition of the majority of the council members for the purpose and at the time and date mentioned in the petition.

The issue is not the Mayor’s postponement, but who is making decisions that circumvent Council members’ legislated authority to call a Special Meeting and what will be done about it.

Craig Pearson, The Windsor Star, reports CAO Miceli also said that, after discussing the councillors’ petition with a town lawyer, he determined a special meeting was not warranted. “I advised all the members of council that calling for a special meeting is not to deal with regular town business,” Miceli said. “It’s to deal with special issues. What they (the councillors) proposed to discuss at that meeting did not meet the criteria for a special meeting.”

Special meetings of council 2014 were held to consider issues ranging from zoning by-law amendments and drain improvements to the Sale of Shares Offer from Entegrus Inc.

Since there is no criteria for a special meeting in either the Municipal Act or Procedural By-Law, and since both contain clear language, I would argue that there is no basis whatsoever for any objection to a majority of council calling a special meeting.

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