Aldo DiCarlo Only Mayoral Candidate To Answer Dr. Lloyd Brown-John’s Questions

Dr. Lloyd Brown-John prepared a series of Questions for the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce related to Financial issues. There were two sets of questions; one for prospective Council members and more complex questions for Deputy and Mayor candidates.

The questions were posted here and sent to the candidates on September 19; although the Chamber of Commerce may not have used them, of the four Mayoral Candidates, Aldo DiCarlo is the only one who answered them: Dr. C. Lloyd Brown-John’s Questions To The Candidates – Aldo DiCarlo Answers.

No Commitment To Remove OPP Clause In Police Contract – Followup

Commentary by Linda Saxon

Current Amherstburg Police Services Board member and council candidate Pauline Gemmell’s responses to questions about the OPP clause in the police contract were set out in a previous post.

The Employment Standards Act does not apply to police officers.

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.

Limited Accessible Voting Options?

Accessibility information is included on the back of the voter registration: “Accessible voting equipment is available on all advance voting days to assist voters who cannot negotiate a paper ballot. On Election Day this equipment will be available at the Libro Credit Union Centre.”

What will it take for Amherstburg to become as progressive as other municipalities and switch to the more accessible online voting option?

Glenn Swinton Answers Question 39: Straightforward Answer Sought Re CAO

NO. If the proper referencing has been completed to verify the past performance and credentials of the new C.A.O. coming in, they should be a qualified enough individual to know what they are walking into. They should be prepared to do the job of a C.A.O. without the need for “on the job training”. If they need to be directed from Mr. Phipps then we obviously have hired the wrong person for the position. I think that hiring a new C.A.O. before the new council is elected is plain stupid. We’ve gone this far and clearly the majority of our current council has no clue what they should be looking for. In the plain english your asking for… another “hurry up lets vote” asinine decision.

All answers to date are posted on the Candidate Answers page.

Question 39: Straightforward Answer Sought Re CAO

A Question submitted via the feedback form, is below and has been added to all the questions to date on the Ask The Candidates page.

What I’m looking for here is a straight forward yes or no answer with your reasons why? Do not want a politically correct answer from someone pursuing a seat and trying not to offend anyone but also at the same time, not answering the question. There have been many of the candidates who have mentioned the 41 items or areas of concern brought forward from the Deloitte review. Are these not 41 issues of concern that have happened under our present CAO/consultant? This is a person hired because of his experience and knowledge of municipal procedures. Is this the same person we want teaching our new CAO? How long do we continue to pay Mr. Phipps once the new CAO comes on board? Either yes you want him to stay on or no, you do not see the need? Your reasons are?

If or when candidates respond, their answers will be posted on the Candidate Answers page.

Question For Jason Lavigne

A Question submitted via the feedback form, is below and has been added to all the questions to date on the Ask The Candidates page.

It was publicly mentioned that Councillor Candidate Jason Lavigne has declared personal bankruptcy TWICE in the past. Although he seems very vocal on a lot of issues, can he reflect on these allegations so that the public can be assured that he is a good choice for a town that already has financial issues?

If or when candidates respond, their answers will be posted on the Candidate Answers page.

Question 38 For The Candidates – Preferential Treatment?

Question 38:  There seems to be special considerations given to certain influential citizens that over ride the concerns of the average citizen.  Bylaws were not always supported if special interest individuals sought to get exemptions to pursue projects that were not supported by those affected.
What would your approach be to favours requested by wealthy, influential citizens over the average citizen?

All questions to date are on the Ask The Candidates page, including the feedback form to submit a question. If or when candidates respond, their answers are posted on the Candidate Answers page.

Question 37 For The Candidates – Where Are Our Voter Notifications?

Question 37:  Has anyone received their voting sheet from the town in the mail yet? It is only weeks away and no one has? The Town after hiring another bureaucrat under contract, one Mr. Marion to run our election as far as administration responsibilities is now blaming Canada Post for this screw up. The Town simply forgot to mail them out! This is just another example of our administration doing what they want with no council awareness or approval and costing us more money. How will you end such blatant incompetence and get the new council back to running this town?

All questions to date are on the Ask The Candidates page, including the feedback form to submit a question. If or when candidates respond, their answers are posted on the Candidate Answers page.

Question 36 For The Candidates – Special Development Deals?

Question 36:  Yes we need to move this town forward! We need also to find out who has benefited financially with secret or special deals while the Town continued to pile on debt. Did anyone or developer get a special deal, or have fee’s waved? How did Season’s (developer) attain a different classification to avoid over 3/4 million dollars? Did the developers of the geared to income apartments on Simcoe get some special deal or avoid development fee’s? Developers have also passed on to the residents, the expense of final layers of pavement on their projects. These are only few of the stories being heard around our town. If these and others are true? Someone should pay? Not the taxpayers anymore!

All questions to date are on the Ask The Candidates page, including the feedback form to submit a question. If or when candidates respond, their answers are posted on the Candidate Answers page.

Question 35 For The Candidates – Development Fees Collected?

Question 35:  On the issue of local developers and development in itself, how can you assure the residents that these developers will pay the current development fee’s and live up to their obligations through out the entire project until it is completely finished? An example of this is the future of Boblo Island. Mr. Amicone is proposing an additional 200 or more homes. How can you assure us that all future capital costs associated with this project are his responsibility? Who will pay for a projected fire hall and staff (current fire chief is already making his Christmas list) and equipment? Police station (same Christmas List) and staff? Sewage line? Additional ferries? These are all costs which should be born by the developer and passed on to his projected buyers? Examples of this abuse are the fee’s waived already costing this town over a million dollars.

All questions to date are on the Ask The Candidates page, including the feedback form to submit a question. If or when candidates respond, their answers are posted on the Candidate Answers page.

Question 34 For The Candidates – Two CAOs Pay?

Question 34:  Sometime in October, not quite sure of the actual day? Amherstburg will have their new CAO (another of a long line) while at the same time paying Mr. Phipps $80-$90 per hour for his consulting. How long will you let this double salary, or paying two CAO’s go on? In our current contract with Mr. Phipps, there is a 30 day walkaway clause from either party. Do you allow Mr. Phipps to remain on the payroll while at the same time paying our new CAO his salary? His salary is also unknown since Sutton, Pillon, Davies and Hurst voted against Dianne Pouget’s motion to make his salary public? Also would you let mr. Phipps stay on under some other title? (This is rumored)

All questions to date are on the Ask The Candidates page, including the feedback form to submit a question. If or when candidates respond, their answers are posted on the Candidate Answers page.

Question 33 For The Candidates – Why Not Answer Questions?

Question 33:  Why aren’t some of the candidates answering important questions? Do the incumbents think they are a “shoo-in” as they are a part of the “4” and a proud member of the good ol boy’s club? Or are they “newbies” that fail to realize their answers may get them a vote?  If either is the case you can trust me when I say you will not get my vote!!!

All questions to date are on the Ask The Candidates page, including the feedback form to submit a question. If or when candidates respond, their answers are posted on the Candidate Answers page.