Councillor Meloche’s response:
Given that you directed an inquiry to all Council members, I will comment.
I concur with the Mayor’s comments in his response to you.
In my discussion with residents, the OPP costing model was of concern because it was difficult to quantify the level of policing they would provide. A member of the Essex Town Council even told me directly that we should not expect the same level of policing with the OPP. In the end, their model did not fit our requirements as set out in our RFP and therefore made the decision to decline our RFP. Windsor Police on the other hand were accommodating to the level of service we were seeking.
I trust you have received satisfactory responses to your questions.
Editor’s Note: Then- candidate Meloche never answered any of the burgwatch questions from residents during the 2014 campaign regarding the OPP costing. Actually, the decision to decline the RFP was based on a Ministry approved protocol. Would it not have been more prudent for an elected representative to meet with the OPP to dispel myths instead of being influenced by opinion?
The River Town Times’ write up on Current Councillor Leo Meloche states Meloche believes he has the leadership skills and decision-making ability to be deputy mayor.
Like DiCarlo, Meloche acknowledged the controversial policing issue; Meloche voted to have Windsor Police takeover policing the community.
According to the RTT article, Meloche said Essex had $3.9 million in policing costs in 2018 as compared to Amherstburg’s $5.8 million.
“Yes, we get a higher level of policing but what we need to look at is are we really getting value for the difference,” he said.
“Overall, we thought it’s a good deal for Amherstburg as a whole,” he said, noting there are $14 million in potential savings over the next 20 years.
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.”
Councillor Leo Meloche did not comment on accessibility improvements, but responded: “Polling questions can be formulated to achieve a desired result. The question should have been … Are you agreeable with a Council’s decision to mount an opposition against the proposal that involves the potential closing of the high school in our town. I will make no further comment on the issue. I stand by my decision.”
I replied to Meloche: “your question could have been asked prior to council’s decision and maybe if the town’s website becomes accessible after my asking for it for 12 years, council could post its own polls.
since i asked for input after council’s decision, your question is moot.”
Commentary by Linda Saxon