In the interests of informing the public, when I hear that someone has filed to run for office in the October 2010 municipal elections in Melancthon I will provide that information.
On the other hand, this SHOULD be public information that is posted on Melancthon's website, like most other municipalities in Ontario, however Melancthon Council seems to have a little bit of problem recognizing what the public is entitled to know. More on that later.
Melancthon resident Bart Malloy has filed papers to run for a Council position and I assume everyone who lives in Melancthon received a flier from him as my partner and I did.
To Mr. Malloy's credit, he is NOT running in opposition to one issue. He is running, according to his flier, on a platform of New Leadership, New Ideas and A Vision for the Future. That is a pretty big thing. A one issue candidate, well, is a one issue candidate. We need big thinkers with big ideas and a vision for the future.
A vision for the future is something the current Council clearly lacks. They are in their fourth year of a four year term, and with the exception of Councillor Elliott have all served on Council for term after term after term and yet not ONE strategic plan has ever been developed by the sitting members of the current Council in any of their terms. This is something most Council's do within months of an election and it is the guideline or map so to speak as to what will happen in the next four years. For Council to even consider this now, to spend the money on a strat plan would be a waste. The plan needs to be the tool by which the Council and staff operate over the term of Council. It is laughable to think the majority of this current Council will be in office on December 1, 2010 (inaugural day).
NOR is their Official Plan up to date or even in compliance with provincial legislation or policies. This is NOT the fault of their planner. Council's job is to set policy and staff are to implement it -Council is to monitor staff to ensure their policies are implemented. Council should NOT be involved in discussions around the Council table at meetings about the size of office desks or whether rims should be on or OFF tires before taking them to the dump. That is the job of staff.
Who can blame the current planner? If I could make up to $70,000.00 a year in "consulting fees" as Melancthon's planner does and never set foot in the office (until June of 2009 and then only one day a month) or even ensure the municipality is in compliance with provincial planning legislation, who wouldn't want that job? You can bet your boots, however, if the roads weren't being ploughed by our roads employees, Council would be all over them in a minute.
To be fair to Deputy Hill, who is running for Mayor of Melancthon in the October 2010 municipal election, he has a much longer track record to criticize, but that is the nature of politics. The new candidates come in with a clean slaight to so speak.
I suspect, however, between now and October 25, 2010 Mr. Malloy will be asked to state publically his position on the 2,400 acre, 200 foot open pit limestone mine being proposed by the Highland Companies as well as his proposal to battle it.
Hope he is ready and up for the challenge.