The burg watch created an historic first when it facilitated residents’ questions to the candidates during the 2014 municipal election. Since 2022 is another election year, I thought it would be worthwhile to revisit then-candidates’ answers.
Question 1. Amherstburg Town hall has been losing senior employees at an alarming rate. It seems pretty obvious that there is a negative culture at Town Hall. If the culture is not changed we will continue to waste taxpayer dollars paying to resolve conflicts and re-train employees when adults can’t get along. How will you unearth the root causes and fix the toxic culture at Town Hall and save Amherstburg from this costly mess? We can no longer afford the costs of discontinuity.
2014 then-candidate Aldo DiCarlo:
In order to answer this question, I will assume that Town Hall does indeed have a toxic work environment. The first thing I would do is confirm this to be true. It has been my experience that toxic work environments originate from the top, at least more often than not. A good leader, regardless of their title or position, should always be aware it exists. Assuming competence and awareness of the environment, it has to be then that the toxic work environment is being allowed to fester. The alternative is that those who lead, that should know, don’t actually know the environment exists, and that becomes a question of competence. Therein lies the answer. Were/are the senior administrators aware of the issue and what are they doing about it? It is my position that the Council, like a board of directors, is an oversight body that governs and holds accountable those whose job it is to address such issues. If the issue is actually originating at the ‘top’, then the ‘top’ must be held accountable, whatever that means for the circumstances at the time. Hiring and/or retaining is the best way to stop the revolving door of staff, regardless of their position. With the recent hire of the latest CAO, hopefully the toxic environment will be dealt with. Unearthing the root causes of the toxic culture is the job of the CAO, that’s what they get paid for. As mayor and a member of council, I’d hold the CAO accountable for doing their job. If it turns out yet another CAO has been hired that can’t address this issue properly, sadly I don’t know that there would be any other alternative but to embark on the search for another. If this worst case happens, as mayor, I’d make sure the next hire isn’t hired the way the rest have been.
Amherstburg Vote 2022