Job Experience Needed?

Is previous council experience really needed? Four years ago, three candidates without any council experience were elected to council: Ron Sutherland, Carolyn Davies and Bart DiPasquale. During the past four tumultuous years, residents witnessed:

  • a high rate of staff turnover
  • a record amount of debt
  • flip flops on the:
    • financial audit
    • St. Joseph’s Church in River Canard
    • Sandwich Street repaving
    • installation of railings at what is now the Libro Centre
  • the discussion of the sale of a municipal asset – essex power shares
  • public input not being welcomed
  • two references to ‘lynching’ regarding a public meeting
  • Ombudsman Ontario’s finding that council contravened the Municipal Act by voting in a closed session in March 2011
  • Ombudsman Ontario’s Report that confirmed council repeatedly contravened the Municipal Act and its own procedure by-law. Council discussed issues in closed session that were not permitted under the exceptions to the Municipal Act, and also routinely engaged in improper voting behind closed doors in December 2011
  • UCCU Centre naming scandal and subsequent lawsuit
  • no commitment to the cost-saving OPP policing option
  • grants for the tourist booth and Laird Avenue and not Texas Road
  • the decision to close the tourist booth due to budget
  • 5 CAOs in four years
  • the hiring of CAO Phipps, his notice to leave and then his decision to stay
  • a council approved secretive process to hire CAO Miceli
  • a lack of provincially mandated policies
  • a lack of commitment to accessibility, including the town’s website.

Is this the experience the community wants to continue with? Tomorrow’s the big day – it’s up to the voters to decide what they need.