It’s been three years since I requested council create a protocol for requests for information; a good indication of open government.
In February 2020, then-CAO Miceli advised, that the Town of Amherstburg was in the process of creating a Routine Disclosure and Active Dissemination Policy and that I might wish to review the policy when it appears on the agenda for Council’s consideration and approval in the near future.
Current CAO Critchley now advises: the Town continues to investigate a number of policies and their associated role within the organization but at this time the Town of Amherstburg has not adopted a specific policy to govern the many ways in which the Town actively disseminates and routine discloses information to the public.
A Year Later, No Town Policy Re Routine Requests For Information
Amherstburg Needs Routine Disclosure Policy
Amherstburg Clerk And Mayor Respond to Routine Disclosure Policy Request
Councillor Prue Supports Routine Disclosure Policy
Request For Routine Disclosure Policy Now Two Years Old
One might conclude there is a lack of willingness to be more open and transparent, given the lack of agenda reports, the lack of in camera resolutions, the incomplete information recorded in the minutes, the lack of reporting out from in camera information.
My request to council that a protocol for requests for information be created for taxpayers is now two years old.
Former CAO Miceli advised, in February 2020, that the Town of Amherstburg was in the process of creating a Routine Disclosure and Active Dissemination Policy and that I might wish to review the policy when it appears on the agenda for Council’s consideration and approval in the near future.
I repeated my request in April 2021 and council, instead of creating a policy, received the item under consent correspondence.
How long does it take to create a Routine Disclosure and Active Dissemination Policy that the Information and Privacy Commissioner revised in SEPTEMBER 1998?
What will it take for council to commit to being more open and transparent?
VOTE October 24, 2022 – hold candidates accountable.
Municipal Act 239 (1) Except as provided in this section, all meetings shall be open to the public. 2001, c. 25, s. 239 (1). Municipal Act
Adoption of policies
270 (1) A municipality shall adopt and maintain policies with respect to 5. The manner in which the municipality will try to ensure that it is accountable to the public for its actions, and the manner in which the municipality will try to ensure that its actions are transparent to the public.
Transparency and accountability are not possible if no links are provided and people are unaware of the steps they need to take when the town does not post links to view meetings.
An example of no link posted on Amherstburg.ca: click on picture to view full screen.
The Town of Amherstburg’s Transparency and Accountability Policy contains definitions:
4.1. Accountability in this policy refers to the principle that the Town is obligated to demonstrate and take responsibility for its actions, decision and policies.
4.8. Transparency means how outside parties, such as the public, are able to observe how the decisions of Council, Staff, Committees and Local Boards are made. The Town of Amherstburg actively encourages and fosters stakeholder engagement in its decision making process.
Locate the date of the meeting in the council/committee calendar section of the town’s website.
Click on the html link of the Agenda column; it’s faster to load than the pdf.
Right click and choose options to open in new tab, new window or copy and paste into browser.
According to the Windsor Star article by Doug Schmidt, Berthiaume is claiming unpaid statutory holiday pay covering an 18-month period that includes a 6-month paid hiatus.
Eight years ago, the burg watch was the first site to create a permanent record of council’s performance as a reminder to voters heading to polls.
Early posts were about council’s contravention of the Municipal Act following the Ombudsman Review Of Closed Meeting, flip flops and a lack of commitment to accessibility.
In 2014, the burg watch provided an historic opportunity for residents to question the candidates directly. Despite being threatened with legal action and negative comments, I feel it was a worthwhile endeavour even if not everyone responded as that indicates, to me, their future behaviour.
In 2018, posts referenced another Ombudsman’s Report of council’s and the JPAC’s contravention regarding in camera meetings on the Policing RFP and council’s decision to choose Windsor Police Service without obtaining an OPP costing as promised.
Thank you to those who support the burg watch.