Miceli said, Pouget said

The supplementary agenda for this evening’s town council meeting includes a Final Report by Bruce Elman, Integrity Commissioner, regarding a complaint by CAO Miceli against Councillor Diane Pouget.

Elman summarized the complaint, the code of conduct, burden of proof, brief conclusion, an analysis and decision, a conclusion and finally a sanction section.

A Commentary by Councillor Pouget is attached to the Report.

Elman concluded, in part, “It is axiomatic that Council sets policy and that the Administration carries out that policy. Councillor Pouget may have legitimate questions, for example about hiring of staff, but those questions should be directed to inquiring whether the Council-determined policies have been followed.”

Shouldn’t the same logic apply when council-determined motions are carried?

Council approved motions to 1. obtain an OPP costing and 2. to work with the OPP for a costing.

An OPP costing was not obtained; who should be accountable for that?

Councillor Diane Pouget Answers Questions 26 To 29

Councillor Pouget’s answers are:

Question 26.  Support Nuisance Program For Fraserville?
Administration is expected to have a full report before the new Council in mid January 2015.  If elected, I would  support a Nuisance Program for mosquitoes in this neighbourhood.

Question 27.  Concerns From Fellow Citizens
I always forward the complainants concerns to the appropriate department heads with the complainants permission.  I also request to be copied on any responses by all parties.  Administration is well aware of the fact, if an issue is not dealt with in a timely fashion, I then raise the issue in public session at our Council meeting.

Question 28.   Ward System  Councillor
Bart DiPasquale tried to have discussions of the Ward System.  I am in favor of looking at this issue again, if the public pursues it.

Question 29.  Commit to no Public Funds On Barriers; Inclusion
Council must work collectively and in cooperation with the Accessibility Committees in Amherstburg and Essex County to ensure a safe and barrier free work, home, school, businesses and transportation systems.  It is imperative that Amherstburg ensures all publicly owned properties are accessible and we lead by example.

All answers to date are also on the candidate answers page.

Councillor Diane Pouget Answers Questions 24 and 25

Councillor Pouget’s answers are:

24.  Why Run To Represent Amherstburg?
The Town of Amherstburg is in  serious financial shape.  Although, I initially thought of retiring, I realize there is a lot of hard work and difficult decisions, that will have to be made to turn our Town around. I believe I have the will, knowledge and determination to work with the new Council, if elected  to accomplish this task.

25.  Hotel Needed?
Yes, I believe Amherstburg needs a hotel.  Sometimes a council will weigh all options to determine if it is in the taxpayers best interest to offer an incentive to build in Amherstburg.  An example of an incentive could be a reduction of development fees, depending on the number of jobs and taxes and other revenue the hotel would generate in Amherstburg.  However, this decision must be made by the entire Council, must be reported out and voted in public session.

All answers to date are also on the candidate answers page.

Councillor Diane Pouget Answers Questions 20 To 23

Councillor Pouget’s answers are:

20.  Town Employee Performance
Council must ensure that our employees are qualified for their positions.  This must be done through the CAO’s office.  Evaluations must be completed on a regular basis and reported to Council.  If an employee is not performing their duties, the employee should be contacted, offered additional training, be monitored and be given an opportunity to improve.  It is imperative that there is a paper trail to protect the employee and our taxpayers. It is also important, that all department heads appear before Council once a month to give a full report.

21.  Affiliated With Political Party In Last 10 Years?
I have never been officially affiliated with, employed by, fundraised or held a position with any political party in the last 10 years.  I don’t have a campaign staff.

22.  Fraserville Mosquito Issue
I am aware of the problems of the Fraserville mosquito issue and I believe the new Council must budget money as soon as they are elected to set aside funds for this program, in order to obtain approval from various agencies to commence in early spring.  It is my firm belief, that this is a health and safety issue and must be addressed as soon as the new Council is sworn in.

23.  Accreditations
I have 10 years of municipal experience and have served on numerous committees and boards in our community.  I have worked in both union and management positions, with a clear understanding of fair bargaining and budget deliberations.  The general public is well aware of the fact that I research and prepare for meetings and I ask tough questions on behalf of our taxpayers.

All answers to date are also on the candidate answers page.

Councillor Diane Pouget Answers Question 18 Re Police Contract Poison Pill Clause

Councillor Pouget’s answer is:

Yes I believe the Poison Pill Clause should be eliminated in the Police Contract to get an OPP costing.  This is not to say that we must go with the OPP, but it is only fair to obtain this cost comparison for our residents.

All answers to date are also on the candidate answers page.

Councillor Diane Pouget Answers Question 16 Tourism Or Employment

Councillor Pouget’s answer is:

16.  Tourism Or Employment
That is a tough question.  On one hand, the 500 tourists might spend money in town, spread the word about our beautiful community, thus more tourists will visit our town and spend more money.  In fact, some of those tourists might decide to relocate here or open a business.  However, one newly created job will ensure more revenue to be spent in Amherstburg, perhaps resulting of the purchase of a home that would bring in more tax dollars.

All answers to date are also on the candidate answers page.

Councillor Diane Pouget Answers Questions 14 Flooding Damage And 15 Why Are We 67 Million In Debt

Councillor Pouget’s answers are:

14.  Flooding Damage
Amherstburg Council is very concerned with the flooding problem in Amherstburg.  It is especially disturbing, that it appears some homes have flooded several times.  This is not acceptable.  Council has directed administration to prepare a full report regarding this situation, including everything that must be done to ensure our residents will not have to worry about this serious problem.  We must determine if all factors including back flow valves, sump pumps, sewer capacity, plugged or broken drains, eves troughs disconnection, etc are working and we must prepare for heavier rain falls, that are becoming more frequent.

15.  Why are we 67 million in debt?
I believe the Town of Amherstburg is so far in debt because the Council of the day took advantage of so many grants, not realizing that they had to repay one third of the cost.  Some of these grants were spent on non-essential items. The new Council must focus on paying down the debt, building the reserves and only spending money on much needed infrastructure, instead of wants.

All answers to date are also on the candidate answers page.

Councillor Diane Pouget Answers Question 17 – Infrastructure and Services For All of Amherstburg

Councillor Diane Pouget’s answer to Question 17 is:

Council was well aware that many residents outside the core area of Amherstburg felt their needs were being ignored.  Councillor Bart DiPasquale was successful in passing a motion to have budget meetings in Anderdon (old Fire Hall) and Malden (Sportsmen Club) in 2013..  Unfortunately, these meetings were not well attended.  It is very important, that the new Council advertise all budget meetings and reach out to our residents for their input.  Unfortunately, the new Council will have limited funds and must focus on needs instead of wants in order to pay down the debt and build up the reserves.

All answers to date are on the candidate answers page.

Councillor Diane Pouget Answers Questions 1 Through 6

In response to questions 1 through 13, summarized below and posted on the Questions page, Councillor Pouget’s answers follow; all answers to date are also on the candidate answers page.

1.  Toxic Culture At Town Hall
It is my belief the new Council must collectively inform the new CAO, that Council makes the decisions and the CAO must take direction from Council.  Unfortunately, this has not been the case.  The current CAO has hired and terminated employees without Council’s direction.  This type of behavior will continue as long as there is a 4-3 division on Council.

2.  Work With Admin to Fix Toxic Culture
Yes, I believe there is a toxic work culture in many departments throughout the Amherstburg Work Force.  I believe the main reason is due to the fear of being terminated at any time, just because that person “doesn’t fit in.”  Further to that, several employees have been promoted without a fair competition and without the qualifications to suit that position.  It is of the utmost importance, that all promotions in the past one and half years must be re-evaluated by Council and the new CAO.

3.  Support Full Independent Audit
Yes.  I did support a full independent audit of the Town’s finances.

4.  Increase Time To Study Agenda
I do support Council receiving information regarding the agenda by Wednesday prior to the Monday meeting.  It is imperative the new Council refuse to accept the information administration tries to sneak in at the last minute, because a member of Council does not have the time to prepare and often makes wrongful decisions when this happens.  Administration calls this last minute information a Supplementary.

5.  Bring Heritage District To Amherstburg
Yes.  I will definitely work with administration and the Heritage Committee regarding the Heritage District.  It is very unfortunate, that administration has dragged their heels on this issue, due to the fact, there were several members of Council who did not support this project.

6.  Obtain OPP Costing, Remove Contract Clause
Yes.  It is only common sense that one should compare costs, whether it is police, banking, engineering, garbage pick up, etc.  I believe it is of the utmost importance to remove the OPP clause, because it is unfair to our residents and should never have been included in the police contract.