Commentary by Linda Saxon
I emailed members of council the following:
As happy as I would be to be rid of Berthiaume, the Amherstburg police service and board, I fail to see how a contract with Windsor police will benefit the ratepayers, never mind entrenching a 20 year contract.
I wonder what all of you would say about such a contract if you were campaigning against a current council right now.
In my opinion, this costing process has not been transparent and it lacked accountability and responsibility.
Shortly after being elected, council was committed to obtaining all police costing comparisons.
The media reported that a committee was established to discuss costings.
The JPAC recommended that administration be directed to hire MPM Consulting and the media reported in January 2017 a consultant was hired to “weigh the benefits of keeping its own police force, amalgamating with another force or hiring the OPP.”
At the same time, the JPAC recommended that administration be directed to, in part, develop an RFP for Windsor and LaSalle to respond to and work with the OPP on the OPP costing.
It appeared the OPP would still be an option and that council was committed to its two motions to obtain an OPP costing despite the committee determining earlier the OPP costing was not feasible.
Council should have held administration and the JPAC accountable for not implementing council’s motions.
The River Town Times reported Town council wants to make the decision once and doesn’t want to accept or reject any proposal without knowing all the details, DiCarlo said. “It was always council’s position to look at all of the options at the same time,” he said. “The goal is to have all of the information in front of us.” (emphasis added).
In the end, taxpayers were denied an opportunity to provide input on a comparison of all policing costs and options and instead were reduced to submitting subjective and emotional responses to a limited choice.