Council Flip Flops – Ministry of Municipal Affairs to Audit Aburg’s Finances

according to the November 20, 2013 Windsor Star, Julie Kotsis reported Amherstburg Town Council was split over the need for further financial auditing. Councillor DiPasquale’s motion to request an independent audit of the town’s financials was defeated as follows-

AGAINST: Councillors John Sutton, Carolyn Davies and Bob Pillon

FOR: Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland, Councillors DiPasquale and Pouget

Hurst cast the deciding vote to oppose and called it the beginning of the “silly season” noting that an election was coming up next year.

At its January 20, 2014 town council meeting, a unanimous motion was carried to ask the ministry for an audit. Sutton is quoted in The Windsor Star, “I agree wholeheartedly that a more thorough investigation should be done … I totally agree that has to be 100 per cent public. “There can’t be anything hidden.”

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Ombudsman Posts ‘Behind Closed Doors’ Report

The Ombudsman Ontario, Ontario’s Watchdog, posted its report, which confirmed that the council for the Town of Amherstburg 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. Read the full report.

Ombudsman Review Of Closed Meeting

Voting during a closed session, including informal votes such as “straw polls” or “show of hands”, is not permitted. Council therefore contravened the Municipal Act by voting during the February 10, 2011 closed session. Read the letter to Ms. Brenda Percy, Clerk, who was requested to make copies of it available to the public.