No Commitment To Remove OPP Clause In Police Contract

Commentary by Linda Saxon

Readers of the burg watch have submitted three separate questions regarding the contentious Amherstburg police contract clause about switching specifically to OPP policing.

Current Police Services Board member and mayoral candidate John Sutton has not answered any questions, nor has current Police Services Board member and council candidate Frank Cleminson.

Current Police Services Board member and council candidate Pauline Gemmell responded, but did not answer specific questions or commit to the removal of the clause.

Regarding Gemmell’s statement, “The buyout clause is outlined in the contract. As with any corporation preparing to lay off large numbers (this would be situation here) the Employment Standards Act prescribes the basic requirements for any payout,” follow up questions were emailed: are you suggesting that there would be lay offs at the police service? can you provide me with the section of the Employment Standards Act that prescribes the basic requirements for any such payout?

Gemmell’s response is, “The ESA provides for basic but in the case of a contract those requirements are typically more than what ESA provides. Have you spoken to Chief Berthieume about this? He is very helpful when anyone from the public asks questions.”

The three questions in full, along with Gemmell’s responses are:

Question 6:  If elected, will you commit to council obtaining an OPP costing and if appointed to the police services board, will you commit to removing the OPP takeover clause in the police contract? If running for re-election, why did you not consider doing the above?

The current costing model for OPP is changing and as such will be difficult to get a clear cost for OPP at this time. I think that council should always be looking at the cost of all services and be looking to less expensive and equal quality alternatives. We have a great Police service here in Amherstburg and there are many benefits that we enjoy as a result of having a local police service. Our officers are skilled and dedicated to this community.

Question 13: The Town now is in the process of negotiating a new contract with our local police force. Within this contract (expires Dec 2014) is a clause which if activated could cost our town dearly! What is your knowledge of this buyout clause? what is your understanding of the rational behind the inclusion of it in our contract? What and how many officers would be involved? What would be the cost to our town if enforced one day? From my understanding, we are talking anywhere from 8-10 million dollars would be paid out to officers changing uniforms, not losing jobs? Your thoughts please!

I believe that our Police provide an excellent service. The buyout clause is outlined in the contract. As with any corporation preparing to lay off large numbers (this would be situation here) the Employment Standards Act prescribes the basic requirements for any payout. Beyond that the town would be required to honor provisions found in the contract.

We have a good and effective police service in our community. The cost factor needs to be discussed once the negotiations but other factors also must be considered along with the cost factor. It’s important that we all know what would be the result of having OPP in our community instead of our own police services. We need to look to other communities who have done this. Where are the officers dispatched from? There is a new costing formula and that also needs to be considered.

Question 18:  Do you believe the Poison Pill Clause should be eliminated in the Police Contract in order to get an OPP costing to compare the costs of policing of OPP versus Amherstburg Police.

Having a costing for alternative services is not dependent on a clause in a contract. The police services is currently beginning to prepare to negotiate a new contract and as such this is something that should be considered during these negotiations.

Aldo DiCarlo On The Use Of The Burg Watch Answers

Question: This is not so much a question but a commentary I guess.  After researching websites for campaign issues, I was directed to the mayoral candidate’s Facebook page who chose not to participate in answering theburgwatch.  I have no issue with not answering, that’s a personal choice.  What I do have issue with is them reading all of the candidate’s answers, taking them out of context, and then manipulating them to a perspective that implies incompetence.  Perhaps it is a desperate attempt to steal votes or perhaps that’s who they are.  Either way, hopefully the voters will question that interpretation before making a judgement.

Councillor Pouget’s Information Request Stifled

Commentary by Linda Saxon

Councillor Pouget has always been, and continues to be, a conscientious, hard working representative of this community, but her latest effort to obtain information is stifled.

You might recall how Phipps will not provide me with certain policies until I provide a reasonable explanation for my request.

Councillor Pouget subsequently advised that she has requested financial information since April and it is still not forthcoming; she also requested the same policies I requested.

Phipps’ email to Councillor Pouget was cc’d to me:

“Thank you Councillor. I will raise this matter at the next scheduled or special meeting of Council. Given the number of requests we have for similar information from many in the community who wish to take on the role of a shadow-Council, administration would be and has been deluged with requests for information. All the time spent providing similar information to every request will take staff time away from the real work.

Therefore, I will be seeking from Council a resolution/policy on what information is to be provided to each request received. As well, Council will be asked to determine the daily work to be set aside if we are required to respond to each and every request.

Paula, will you please ensure this matter is placed on the next special meeting called by the Mayor or the November 17, 2014.”

Phipps’ emails are copied to council, new CAO miceli, ms. giofu (engineering) and a dawn morencie.

I let everyone know that I am still awaiting a response to me and I mentioned that if all the town policies were readily available on the town’s website, and of course in accessible format, no staff time would be required to respond to requests for such information.

I also asked by the way, isn’t it a waste of staff time to send these emails to staff who are not making decisions to respond to these requests?

Finally, I let our elected officials know that if they decide to hold a council meeting prior to November 17, according to section 240 of the municipal act, (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. 2001, c. 25, s. 240.

I am anxious to see if those running for re-election on promises of accountability and transparency, aside from Councillor Pouget, will step up and support her, me, and everyone else who requests information that should be publicly available, without encountering resistance and uncivil servants.

If not, Councillor Pouget is the only current member of council getting my vote.

Candidates’ Website Accessibility Issues Revisited

Commentary by Linda Saxon

I am not expressing my opinion as Chair of the Essex County Accessibility Advisory Committee, but rather as an individual with a disability and advocate.

On August 21, I mentioned that Lora Petro’s and Ken Grant’s websites had problems with accessibility issues that may present barriers to persons with disabilities.

Since then, mayoral candidate John Sutton’s site was activated and all three candidates were advised of the barriers.

The results of pointing out the problem?

Lora Petro – Answered, Changes Made
Lora Petro quickly made changes; although a minor issue was found, it was also corrected when pointed out.

Note: thank you!

Ken Grant – Answered, No Changes Made
October 2, response: 
I understand your concerns about my website, I do support residents/persons with accessibility/disability issues.  My website was not created by a professional web builder, I had purchased the site space thru a company (host) where you build the site yourself.  After purchasing my space and building the site with the software they provide I began looking at the “Options Category” before activating the site.  I noticed that there was no “Option” to allow such capabilities.  I contacted the company to see if there was anything that can be done for persons with disabilities who wanted to view the site.  The company had advised me that there was no option available for what I wanted and that I would have to hire a code developer thru a professional business to revamp my site.  Unfortunately the cost was extremely high and out of my price range for the two months that the site would be active.  Again I apologize!
Ken Grant

Note: I expect candidates to be knowledgeable about accessibility because it is a municipal issue and council is the decision making body. However, when a candidate’s platform includes, “Continue to develop and support accessibility issues,” I expect more. WordPress.com is free, domain registration is minimal and so is WordPress for Badeyes: A Beginners Guide at $9.99. The guide provides information about how to secure a domain name, network host, and install and maintain WordPress for both individuals and enterprises. The language is simple, lucid, for those who use a Screen Reader or those who don’t.

Alternatively, a web developer could have been hired for under $500.

John Sutton – No Answer, No Changes Made
Twice I contacted Mr. Sutton. In addition to the site accessibility issues, I asked, “if you’re offering rides to the polls, does that include accessible transportation?” I subsequently remInded Mr. Sutton, “to date you have neither answered my question nor corrected the issues.”

Note: One could conclude that Mr. Sutton is indifferent.

IS IT TIME FOR LOCAL AODA ALLIANCE CHAPTERS?

Commentary by Linda Saxon
Published in Accessibility News – THE PREMIER ONLINE MAGAZINE FOR DISABILITY ACCESSIBILITY

The AODA Alliance has been a very effective voice for the disability community, raising awareness of barrier removal with provincial leaders, but has it trickled down?

I feel somewhat isolated and frustrated that action taken at the provincial level has little effect on my community – a small southwestern Ontario town that boasts about its history and the need to preserve it.

For over two decades, I appeared before town council, wrote letters to the editor, and campaigned for a more inclusive community. To date, I have had to rely on the human rights complaints system twice to have my rights enforced.

Following the AODA Alliance’s suggestion, I urged candidates to commit to, among other items, a municipal policy that no public funds will ever be used to create or perpetuate barriers against persons with disabilities.

Eight of the twenty-nine candidates responded; only one would support a policy, one would “commit to not place public barriers against persons with disabilities, unless it is for THEIR safety” and one would obtain further details before committing to a policy that would potentially limit the possibilities of the entire population.

In answer to the other accessibility related questions, not one candidate provided any specifics as to how she or he would improve accessibility. Some offered to consult with the Accessibility Advisory Committee or improve accessibility as budget permits.

As for the question to commit to specific plans to ensure fully accessible public transit and taxi services, a couple believed in full accessibility; others felt a taxi service is private enterprise and therefore we must always be careful in how and what we legislate if we are adding costs then the enterprise may not be viable and they simply shut down, thus affecting an even greater percentage of the population.

Another stated that public transportation, accessible or not, should not be a cost born by the town.

I also sought pledges from the candidates that no candidate will agree to attend an All Candidates event to be held in an inaccessible location. Only two of the twenty-nine responded; it has been there for some time, but personal assurances were made to have someone there to open doors for anyone who requires assistance and one will try to facilitate the installation of accessible entrances for the future.

Three candidates were advised their websites had accessibility issues; one made the required changes, one did not respond and one said he was told by the company he purchased the space from that he had no option other than to hire a code developer to revamp his site. Furthermore, the cost was extremely high and out of his price range for the two months that the site would be active, but he apologized.

I am really tired of hearing apologies and half-assed commitments to move forward; I want action taken regarding my right to equal access without having to fight for it or waiting for it to happen.

I would like for regional chapters of the AODA Alliance to be established with the hope that local voices would be just as effective at the local level as David Lepofsky’s is at the provincial level.

Proposed Procedural By-law Flawed

The town’s proposed procedural by-law was deferred to September 8 from the August 11 council meeting due to time restrictions, according to Ms. Parker; I could not locate the by-law on the September 8 agenda but there is a link from the town’s website, of course, to an external link

In an earlier post, Public Input Not Welcome? I mentioned Phipps’ stated, “There was no notice to the public regarding the draft Procedural By-law. Incidentally, there is no requirement for notice.”

Despite input not being sought, I am submitting my opinion to the current council, not as the Chair of the Essex County Accessibility Advisory Committee, but as a ratepayer and individual with a disability. To summarize my concerns:

  • The document is difficult to navigate; there is no index and the numbering system deviates from the traditional numbering of legislation: sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, clauses, subclauses, schedules, appendices or forms.
  • The place of meetings is not listed contrary to the Municipal Act.
  • The proposed definition of committee conflicts with the Accessibility For Ontarians With Disabilities Act 2005
  • “special meeting” is defined, but “meeting” should be since it is titled a By-law to govern the proceedings of Council, the conduct of its members and the calling of meetings.
  • I object to the latter portion of the proposed “Special Meeting” definition: “Special Meeting” means a meeting not scheduled in accordance with the approved calendar/schedule of meetings; and further includes any meeting of Council called prior to the regular session of Council at every regularly scheduled meeting. This is not in keeping with accountability, transparency and notices to the public of meetings.
  • I would question why the town’s procedural by-law would exceed S. 240 (Mayor or Clerk) and include “the CAO may, at any time, summon a special meeting.”
  • Regarding Special In-Camera Council Meetings: the discretionary and mandatory exceptions to public meetings needs to be noted since “may be held” and “shall be held” in camera have disparate meanings and are set out in the Act.
  • Public Notice of Meetings does not state dates and times of notices on the town’s website, just that agendas with attachments will be available on the town’s website; however, one must navigate through a series of links and it is not verified that the available documents, once located, are accessible. There is no reason whatsoever for not posting the agenda on the actual website.
  • Council needs to consider persons with disabilities when setting rules for delegates; for example, insisting that everyone provide the Clerk with written material poses a barrier as defined in Section 2 of the Accessibility For Ontarians With Disabilities Act: “barrier” means anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice; (“obstacle”).
  • Why is there a need to state the Clerk and/or CAO may refuse or defer the delegation based on the subject matter to be presented? Is this not contrary to open government, transparency and accountability?

Commentary by Linda Saxon

AON Hewitt’s Services To Amherstburg

On August 13, I requested information from the town hall regarding the role of AON Hewitt in relation to the town; the date the service was acquired; the annual cost and the length of the contract. The bureaucratic process and email correspondence was included in an earlier post.

On today’s date, I received the AON Agreement ‘Engagement of Services Agreement between the Town and AON Hewitt.’

However, not all of my questions were answered and since the town switched services in 2012, I have requested earlier documentation as well.

So, if we’re not a metropolitan area and we have competent town staff, why do we need to pay for AON Hewitt’s services?

Commentary by Linda Saxon

Amherstburg Police Contract Negotiations Underway?

Amherstburg Police Chief Berthiaume’s power point presentation to the Amherstburg Citizens for Responsible Government (ACRG), incorporated the group’s questions about the police contract.

No answers were included so I emailed, “do you have any notes that you could send me whereby you answered the group’s questions?” Berthiaume responded, “No I do not.”

Some of the slides contain clip art images of card-playing smileys and bulls.

Slide 20, titled “1 Against 5” presumably depicts the Board against the 5 contracts. A huge bull is prominently displayed in slide 21; although there is no title, one can speculate its meaning.

Following the presentation, the ACRG noted a correction on its website, “according to the Chief contract negotiations have not yet started; when?”

Amherstburg Police Services Board members were listed: John Sutton, Frank Cleminson, Wayne Hurst, Pauline Gemmell.

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario had to address whether an Application by James Saxon alleging discrimination because of age contrary to the Human Rights Code should be deferred pending the outcome of collective bargaining between the Amherstburg Police Services Board and the union representing the applicant.

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, in its Interim Decision of June 23, 2014 concluded that “There is no parallel proceeding in this case that is underway that would cause the Tribunal to defer consideration of the Application.”

Commentary by Linda Saxon

Public Input Not Welcome?

On Friday, I emailed Paula Parker, Amherstburg’s Manager of Municipal Governance (of this post) to request copies of minutes pertaining to council’s decision to form and appoint members to the CAO selection committee as well as minutes of the committee meetings.

I also inquired if there was a notice to the public regarding the procedure by-law similar to the development charges by-law and nuisance smoke by-law.

Ms. Parker’s auto response advised, “I am out of the office on scheduled vacation, I will return to the office on Monday, Sept 8, 2014. I will mot have access to emails, however I will respond to your requests once I return. If your email is urgent in nature please contact Nicole Rubli at nrubli@amherstburg.ca or Tammy Fowkes at tfowkes@amherstburg.ca.”

Given that council will consider its proposed procedure by-law on September 8, the date of Ms. Parker’s return, I emailed both Ms. Rubli and Ms. Fowkes.

Instead, CAO Phipps replied as Ms. Parker emailed him to respond: “Hi Mike, As I am away from the office for the week, can you either reply to or assign this response to someone for me? Thank you, Paula Sent from my iPhone”

Phipps: “Thanks Paula and enjoy your vacation. This is my response to Ms Saxon.

With respect to the CAO hiring process, this matter was discussed in a closed session of Council and you are not entitled to any information from any of those sessions.

There was no notice to the public regarding the draft Procedural By-law. Incidentally, there is no requirement for notice.”

Consistently inconsistent.

Why is a CAO responding to simple inquiries from ratepayers who are paying for a bureaucratic structure at town hall?

Why advertise and welcome input for some by-laws and not others?

Why would a CAO instruct administration not to speak to members of the media, but then use the town website to set forth his version of the alleged facts?

Open and transparent but refuse to disclose information about the contentious leaving/staying CAO and the hiring of a new CAO?

Phipps’ email to me, copied to council, contained errors and omissions that have yet to be corrected but his email to Graham Hobbs is allegedly covered by the Town confidentiality statement so it cannot be shown.

The 2008 Procedure By-law has remained the same since 2008; why not let the new council update it and decide if it wants to hear from the public?

Commentary by Linda Saxon

Town Outsourcing Human Relations, Insurance, Benefits Administration?

A little over two weeks ago, I made an inquiry regarding “the role of AON Hewitt in relation to the town; the date the service was acquired; the annual cost and the length of the contract.”

According to its website, “Aon is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services.”

As expected, a bureaucratic process ensued:

Paula Parker, the town’s Manager of Municipal Governance, asked me to clarify “whether you mean Insurance or Human Relations?  Once I have a better understanding, I may better answer your question.”

I replied “just to clarify, any and all roles of AON Hewitt in its relationship to the town.”

Ms. Parker, “Thank you for the clarification Mrs. Saxon, I have copied Michelle Rose, Manager of Human Resources, as she may be better able to assist you with this portion of your request.”  (I also made an inquiry relative to the procedure by-law; more on that will be posted on a future date).

I emailed Ms. Parker, Ms. Rose and all council members, “it’s been two weeks since i asked the question below about AON Hewitt; is it any wonder people complain about a lack of transparency?”

Ms. Parker, “I apologize for the delay in response.  It is my understanding that the Town does not have this information and Michelle Rose, Manager of Human Resources, is trying to obtain the information you have requested from AON Hewitt.   However, has not received the information to date. When I have any other information on the status of your request, I will certainly notify you.”

How could the town not have this information? Either a relationship exists or it doesn’t.

Commentary by Linda Saxon

Who Does What

Re: Accountability – it is fast approaching! by Ken Thrasher July 30, 2014 RTT

I’ve been called a naysayer too, and a thorn in the side as well as a critic; my all time favourite is the accusation that some of us were tearing this community down, brick by brick; shame on those who undertake tactics to discourage residents who wish to exercise their democratic freedoms.

Since January of this year, there have been approximately two dozen correspondence items regarding an accessibility policy question to council and the accessibility advisory committee, but my question remains unanswered.

Absent a motion by council, two weeks ago Mr. Phipps emailed a summary to council and me; not only does it contain errors and omissions that need to be corrected, but also he decreed “Administration will take no further action on this matter unless it is once again raised at a Council meeting.”

How many times do I have to request that council and/or the accessibility advisory committee address my concern? Then again, I’ve requested an accessible town website for twelve years and I’m still waiting for that and it was a decade long battle for me to get the library elevator installed.

The roles of council, head of council, and municipal administration are clearly defined in the municipal act so there should be no misinterpretation of who does what.

Council is to represent the public and ensure that administrative policies, practices and procedures are in place to implement the decisions of council; to ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality, including the activities of the senior management of the municipality; to maintain the financial integrity of the municipality.

As chief executive officer of a municipality, the head of council shall promote public involvement in the municipality’s activities.

Municipal administration is to implement council’s decisions and establish administrative practices and procedures to carry out council’s decisions.

Regarding the hiring of a new CAO, why and how was the panel selected? What are the members’ qualifications? Was there an Information and Privacy Commissioner privacy assessment, considering residents are panel members who will access personal information? Is it a conflict of interest for Phipps to be a member? Did council rescind his notice to leave? Why would council acquiesce to the CAO, who changed his mind and wants to stay?

Unlike Mr. Thrasher, the only Councillor who consistently and professionally responds to my concerns is Councillor Pouget. When others did respond, my inquiries were forwarded to staff. I’m beginning to wonder why we need a council, let alone all the staff.

As for the new council, the electorate needs to ask the candidates specific questions because, for the most part, campaign literature contains limited marketing material.

Linda Saxon
as printed in the River Town Times

Phipps Flip Flops – Will The Town Pay Two CAOs?

On May 9, 2014, Mary Caton reported in The Windsor Star that Amherstburg CAO Mike Phipps confirmed Friday that he intends to leave his position before reaching the end of his two-year contract with the town. “I am meeting with council shortly because we’ve got to get a plan in place,” he said. Phipps said he intends to see the town through the impending municipal election and municipal review. “I feel an obligation to hang in there,” he said. “To see that the election is run properly and legally.”

The town advertised for a new CAO and invited applicants to submit a resume by June 30.

In a July 16 Windsor Star article, Phipps said he’s staying put. Candidates for the position are undergoing a council approved vetting process that includes a five-member panel made up of Phipps, human resources manager Michelle Rose, another county CAO that Phipps wouldn’t identify, a “fairly senior” local business leader and a resident.

Why was a panel needed? How was the panel selected? What are the members’ qualifications? Was there an Information and Privacy Commissioner privacy assessment, considering residents are panel members who will access personal information?

The article ends with a quote from Phipps: “So we thought, if we can get the right person that at least this council is satisfied with … I have faith we’ll get the right person,” he said.

Who is “we?” Has Council agreed to rescind his notice to leave plus hire a new CAO?

Commentary by Linda Saxon

Who’s Beating A Dead Horse?

Council will once again consider the horse and carriage in the Navy Yard Park issue at its June 23 meeting. The agenda can be found on an external link, despite my requesting it be placed elsewhere and in another format.

In his May 20, 2014 report to council, shamefully, Dean Collver, Director of Community Services states, “Administration is recommending that horse and carriage vendors, licensed to operate as a business in the Town of Amherstburg, be permitted to enter KNYP for the purpose of special occasions tied to the park’s gazebo facility.”

Collver provides a background, although accessibility issues are blatantly missing. I raised the issue of accessibility in this letter, which makes me wonder if, once again, my concerns were ignored. I also emailed everyone on council, “I’m writing to express my disappointment with council’s actions regarding this matter, with the exception of Councillor Pouget. It is unfathomable that the parks department widened sidewalks to accommodate a business that was in violation with the town, yet I endured a ten year battle with the town to obtain equal access to the library, which, ironically, the town takes credit for in its annual accessibility plan as an accomplishment.”

Collver lists others consulted, which did not include a public hearing for public input regarding an exemption to a town by-law nor did it include members of the Amherstburg Accessibility Advisory Committee. I let the Committee know last fall that the horses and buggy request for by-law exemption is an example of a by-law that could have been included in the plan and should have been addressed by the committee. I never received a response.

In the council approved Amherstburg multi-year accessibility plan, Mayor Hurst states, in part, “Council and Administration, along with our Amherstburg Accessibility Advisory Committee are working together to identify, remove and prevent barriers.”

So the question is: does council intend to accept administration’s recommendation, contradict this statement and defy legislation? As I have previously mentioned, both business owners and the town are subject to the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001 and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005.

Commentary by Linda Saxon

 

Council Could Cut More

monica wolfson’s updated April 16 windsor star blog post reports that amherstburg town council has not yet adopted its budget and will continue deliberations on april 24.

I would rather decide for myself which, if any, charitable organizations I would support than have council arbitrarily direct taxpayers’ money to some charitable organizations like the House of Shalom, a facility that is not accessible to everyone.

It isn’t the first time that council considered directing visitors to the Gordon House instead of the Front Road centre, nor is it the first time I objected. As a town-owned facility, the municipality is obliged to consider accessibility pursuant to provincial accessibility legislation; additionally, the town could be susceptible to a human rights complaint given the lack of accessibility at the Gordon House.

I would have thought the town learned its lesson after my decade long battle and subsequent human rights decision resulting in the library elevator. A recent HRTO decision against 1762668 Ontario Inc., owned by Rennie and Anne Rota, confirmed a landlord’s responsibility.

Cutting council’s portion of the budget would hinder communication with constituents – really? How many times do councillors respond to emails and/or telephone calls?

Policing costs and/or any proposed cuts to the police budget are missing. In an April 8, 2014 CKLW post, Police Chief Tim Berthiaume was confident council will approve the police budget, saying his force is one of the most cost-effective in the province.

The 2012 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario included a Cost Comparison of Municipal Police Services, 2011; the estimated per capita cost of police services for a population between 15,000 and 49,999 was:

  • Municipal Police Service $284.00
  • OPP – with contract $150.00
  • OPP – no contract $131.00

According to OPP estimates, municipalities with and without contracts save on average anywhere from 35% to 60% by using the OPP instead of having their own police forces.

Since the Amherstburg Police collective agreement expires the end of 2014, now is the most opportune time to obtain an OPP costing and delete the OPP takeover clause. Amherstburg taxpayers have long supported a police department hierarchy unparalleled by similar-sized OPP detachments. If council had acted sooner, say at least 12 years ago, it might not have had to entertain the selling of Essex Power shares for $12 million.

There seems to be some misinformation regarding the police budget and the responsibilities of the police services board and council, but both are clearly set out in the Police Services Act:

Estimates

  1. (1)  The board shall submit operating and capital estimates to the municipal council that will show, separately, the amounts that will be required,

(a) to maintain the police force and provide it with equipment and facilities; and

(b) to pay the expenses of the board’s operation other than the remuneration of board members.

Same

(2)  The format of the estimates, the period that they cover and the timetable for their submission shall be as determined by the council.

Budget

(3)  Upon reviewing the estimates, the council shall establish an overall budget for the board for the purposes described in clauses (1) (a) and (b) and, in doing so, the council is not bound to adopt the estimates submitted by the board.

Same

(4)  In establishing an overall budget for the board, the council does not have the authority to approve or disapprove specific items in the estimates.

Commission hearing in case of dispute

(5)  If the board is not satisfied that the budget established for it by the council is sufficient to maintain an adequate number of police officers or other employees of the police force or to provide the police force with adequate equipment or facilities, the board may request that the Commission determine the question and the Commission, shall, after a hearing, do so. 1997, c. 8, s. 26.

Council can do more and should do so – just say no to frivolous requests and spending.

Commentary by Linda Saxon

 

Aburg police have new way to clock staff hours

According to The Windsor Star, Chief Tim Berthiaume stated, “We’ll require all hourly employees … to swipe in and out at the beginning and at the end of their shift.” If the aim of the new clock is to tighten control over the management of employees’ work time, shouldn’t the Chief and Deputy Chief also have to swipe in and out? Wouldn’t they want to  participate so as not to give the appearance that they are exempt from accountability?

Read more: The Windsor Star