More Comments on $12,000.00 Poll From Members of Council

Members of Amherstburg Town Council were advised of the Poll results that indicated 75% felt council should not have spent $12,000.00 on the law firm.

Additionally, I offered my personal opinion: “has council established a precedent whereby it acts on someone’s suggestion and/or offer? an RFP should have been issued. regardless, if we can afford to spend $12,000.00 on what might prove to be a duplicate process, then there is money to spend on improved accessibility at the town hall, truly making the town’s website accessible, and offering increased accessibility through internet voting.”

In addition to Councillor Leo Meloche’s response, the following replied.

Councillor Rick Fryer: Thank you.

Councillor Diane Pouget did not comment on accessibility improvements, but responded: Thanks Linda.  I stand by my decision. Please feel free to call if you wish to discuss.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo:  Since my voting position has been covered by all of the area’s media outlets, I don’t think I need to get into it again.  Council has made a democratic decision and I am obligated, as the Mayor, to move that decision forward.

This voting process does not provide for any precedent that I am aware of.  Council is still bound by the procedural by-law in place.

The Town continues to work towards a fully accessible website.  It remains a priority that will require funding to accomplish.

Although I know these comments don’t explicitly answer your questions, I hope it provides some more clarity of Council’s actions.

Commentary by Linda Saxon

Councillor Pouget’s Information Request Stifled

Commentary by Linda Saxon

Councillor Pouget has always been, and continues to be, a conscientious, hard working representative of this community, but her latest effort to obtain information is stifled.

You might recall how Phipps will not provide me with certain policies until I provide a reasonable explanation for my request.

Councillor Pouget subsequently advised that she has requested financial information since April and it is still not forthcoming; she also requested the same policies I requested.

Phipps’ email to Councillor Pouget was cc’d to me:

“Thank you Councillor. I will raise this matter at the next scheduled or special meeting of Council. Given the number of requests we have for similar information from many in the community who wish to take on the role of a shadow-Council, administration would be and has been deluged with requests for information. All the time spent providing similar information to every request will take staff time away from the real work.

Therefore, I will be seeking from Council a resolution/policy on what information is to be provided to each request received. As well, Council will be asked to determine the daily work to be set aside if we are required to respond to each and every request.

Paula, will you please ensure this matter is placed on the next special meeting called by the Mayor or the November 17, 2014.”

Phipps’ emails are copied to council, new CAO miceli, ms. giofu (engineering) and a dawn morencie.

I let everyone know that I am still awaiting a response to me and I mentioned that if all the town policies were readily available on the town’s website, and of course in accessible format, no staff time would be required to respond to requests for such information.

I also asked by the way, isn’t it a waste of staff time to send these emails to staff who are not making decisions to respond to these requests?

Finally, I let our elected officials know that if they decide to hold a council meeting prior to November 17, according to section 240 of the municipal act, (b) upon receipt of a petition of the majority of the members of council, the clerk shall call a special meeting for the purpose and at the time mentioned in the petition. 2001, c. 25, s. 240.

I am anxious to see if those running for re-election on promises of accountability and transparency, aside from Councillor Pouget, will step up and support her, me, and everyone else who requests information that should be publicly available, without encountering resistance and uncivil servants.

If not, Councillor Pouget is the only current member of council getting my vote.