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.

No Link To Committee Meetings – Workaround

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.

Workaround:

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.

Select/highlight https://www.amherstburg.ca/livestream.

Right click and choose options to open in new tab, new window or copy and paste into browser.

the burg watch is 8 years old

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.