Thursday, September 30, 2010
The fliers and websites have been coming out fast and furious.
Can you match the statement with the Melancthon candidate who uttered it?
Your choices are:
Bill Hill- Mayor
Rob Uffen - Mayor
Darren White - Deputy Mayor
Nanci Malek - Councillor
Dennis Sanford -Councillor
Alex Banks - Councillor
Bart Malloy-Deputy Mayor
These excerpts are word for word with spelling intact from their literature/websites:
"I am not a one issue candidate. As a Councillor, I will be your ears, eyes and conscience with decisions being made about the present and the future of our community."
"I believe that the next council for the Township of Melancthon must work closely together with the residents to prepare for and properly deal with the challenges we are facing in the coming months and years."
"Will not be scared to voice my opinion and the residents opinion of Melancthon in all issues that concern us all. Will thank you in person for your support as I see you in our daily activitys
" I will be a strong, effective, and principled voice for the people of Melancthon, and a competent manager of the Township's affairs"
"Council is elected by the people for the people. We all don't always agree with an approach taken or for that matter the outcome.
"I am deeply concerned about the environmental, social, cultural and economic problems we are facing and the critical need for a proactive Mayor and Council that truly represents us at a time when provincial policy is, increasingly, assuming authority and being influenced by corporate industries, including ones currently operating in our township, and their agendas."
In 2010, Melancthon residents have the challenge of making change. One that they can control. The election a new council. One that will be focused on working for the citizens, keeping citizens aware of Municipal affairs and creating a vision for the future"
are not included here as I have not yet, seen web postings or Mailings from these candidates.
The Government of Canada will not be moving forward with any authorizations as the proposed project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be justified under the circumstances," said the Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.
Click here for the entire article:
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Instead my perspective on this, check out this link under September 24 for highlights of the meeting:
Sunday, September 26, 2010
As Melancthon and Mulmur are voting by mail in 2010 I have posted some of the information on Heather's site:
Election Day - Monday October 25th 2010
How do I vote in the upcoming election?
Expect your ballots to come in the mail after October 2, 2010. If, by October 10th you have not received a ballot, please contact the Township of Mulmur Office at 705-466-3341 or the Township of Melancthon office at 519-925-5525 (depending on where you vote)
How do I know I am on the voters list? What if I am not on the voters list or I am new to the area?
Call the township office-see contact numbers.
Note: The Melancthon Township website has posted an excellent video outlining “voting by mail ” in the upcoming Municipal Election.
Click here to see it : http://www.datafix.com/tutorials/vbm/MIVTutorial.html
Saturday, September 25, 2010
A pecuniary interest is also called a conflict of interest.
In a nutshell the legislation provides that if an elected politician stands to gain OR lose financially in any decision made by Council (direct-themselves; indirect-a spouse, child or parent) they MUST declare a pecuniary/conflict of interest and not take part in DISCUSSIONS or votes. If the discussion or vote takes part in a closed meeting, they must leave the room-that is the ONLY time they must leave the room.
The September 13 post has details on Melancthon Mayor Fawcett's conflict.
The September 14 post has details on Shelburne Deputy Mayor Bennington's conflict.
The September 23 post has details on Mulmur Deputy Mayor Snider's conflict.
Today's post has details on Shelburne Mayor Crewson's peculiar pecuniary conflict.
Crewson declares a conflict on Highlands issues as Highlands is a client of Ed's insurance company. Fair enough. The Act provides for that.
EXCEPT Ed doesn't declare a conflict when discussing "policy" issues as it relates to a Highlands issue.
Example, Ed sat at the "policy" discussion table, and took part in the discussion at the committee level when the issue of Highlands clear cutting thousands and thousands of trees, in contravention of the County's tree cutting bylaw and ratepayers ask the County to enforce the bylaw. The County refused to do that, but decided in their infinate wisdom to draft a new bylaw, the discussions of which Crewson took part in.
I would argue that a sitting politician making their wishes known at the policy level about an issue as it relates to your biggest customer who caused the issue in the first place which brought about the drafting of a new bylaw, MIGHT be construed as taking part in the discussion and MIGHT lead other elected officials to know how you MIGHT vote, if in fact you could, but of course you don't because you declare a pecuniary interest-when it comes time to vote.
Hm...very confusing. And to be clear, if I feel that any sitting politician has a conflict and hasn't declared it, I have six weeks to bring a court action after I know about the conflict and it is only up to a judge to make a decision. Fair enough, but as a ratepayer I do have the right to question and make my OPINION known.
(NOT: to date FXXK all has happened with the new bylaw-lots of meetings, and staff time but nothing has been birthed through the two year process so it is business as usual for the County).
Friday, September 24, 2010
Has Council directed staff to prepare a comprehensive costing on planning fees compared to the hours spent by a consultant versus a full time planning employee?
When was the last time Council issued a request for proposal for Planning Fees.
Answer: We have never asked for a request. Jorden and Jones were the Planners when she first came on board (Mayor Fawcett). Council is very satisfied with Mr. Jorden and he is now in the office two days per month. At the moment, he is being under utilized and some days, has no appointments but he does work on Melancthon stuff when he is here.
Just to recap, the 2008 budget show that planning "consultant" fees, meaning this guy works for other people too, average about$66,916.17. This was when he NEVER had to set foot in the office. Now we get him twice a month, but according to Council he is under utilized.
Funny how when he ISN'T in the office, he can find something to do to bill ratepayers $66,916.17 a year.
Wonder now that he actually has to show up twice a month if we, the taxpayers, are paying for his travel time and gas?
And he has been working on the five year Official Plan Review for oh, about six years now.
For this kind of money the ratepayers of Melancthon would be better served by a full time planner/legislative coordinator who may actually even be able to write a bylaw, which most in house staff in municipalities can do, instead of farming them out to lawyers.
"I attended Mulmur's all candidates meeting. The quote of the evening was, "We have learned from the mistakes made by our neighbours (Melancthon)." That statement was made by an incumbent in response to residents' questions regarding heritage home demolitions and turbine issues. The sentiment was reiterated by other incumbents and candidates. Melancthon's present council is NOT leaving a good legacy. "
If councillors in Mulmur know that Melancthon Council has made mistake, god help all of us in Melancthon.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
She probably had the most valid declaration, in that she worked for an organization who may have been in some legal issues with Highlands over the rail line.
She no longer has this conflict and will be at the table, voting on all things Highlands should she get re-elected.
Good to know.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Your written objections to the OPA and ZBA must be received by Melancthon on or before September 23-you can turn them in at the meeting if you want. Here is link to the objections already filed.
Remember-this is for the OPA and ZBA so your objection needs to be on the change of land use. The time for objections about the aggregate expansion has already passed.
Please attend this meeting if possible.
Monday, September 20, 2010
I would suggest with some creative thinking some of these ideas could be implemented with respect to aggregate as well.
The Aggregate Act and the Green Energy Act are NOT the be all and end all, although they can be if you take a defeatist attitude, or have a lack of staff/consultant expertise.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Amaranth: Monday September 20 -Amaranth municipal building
Mono: Wednesday September 22 - Monora Park
Mulmur: Thursday September 23 - Mulmur municipal building
East Luther/Grand Valley: Wednesday September 29 - Community Centre
Orangeville: Tuesday October 5 - Westside Secondary School
East Garafraxa: Wednesday October 6 - Marsville Community Hall
Shelburne: Thursday October 7 - Grace Tipping Hall
Melancthon: Tuesday October 12 - Hornings Mills Hall
Friday, September 17, 2010
I didn't mean to imply anyone was HAVING an affair.
What I meant was a fair, specifically the Shelburne Fall Fall, is on this weekend.
Come on down!! Have some fun.
If you are a candidate, kiss some babies, hand out some ribbons (and your party platform of course) and just enjoy.
Motto-"If it is the Shelburne Fair, we will be there!!"
P.S. I think there might be puppies there.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
It is up to the individual elected official to make their own determination, either on their own or under the guidance of a legal opinion they might have sought as to whether they have a conflict.
The ONLY person who can determine if a sitting politician has violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest legislation is a judge. A person who feels a contravention has occured can bring an application to the court for a ruling. The application must be made within 6 weeks of knowing about the alleged contravention and no later than six years after the alleged contravention has occured.
The judge hears the evidence and makes a ruling.
So my speculations in this blog are made in the court of public opinion, which doesn't really count for anything.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
As promised, I will be "outing" incumbent candidates who have declared a Conflict of Interest on everything Highlands. I will of course be adding my own opinion as to whether the conflict is a true conflict.
Here is the first candidate who runs from the room screaming, I mean declaring a Conflict of Interest every time the name Highlands is mentioned:
Ken Bennington-Deputy Mayor of Shelburne
Reason for declaring? It is recorded in the Dufferin County minutes that Deputy Mayor Bennington declares a conflict because his sister owns a property next to the rail line-which we all know Highlands is hot and horny to purchase.
EXCEPT, the Municipal Conflict of Interest legislation provides:
"For the purposes of this Act, the pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, of a parent or the spouse or any child of the member shall, if known to the member, be deemed to be also the pecuniary interest of the member."
I do NOT see where it mentions a sibling (sister or brother) would cause a politican to have a pecuniary interest, forcing a politican to declare.
So why isn't he voting? There can only be three reasons, in my opinion.
1. He doesn't understand the legislation
2. He got a crappy legal opinion
3. He just doesn't want to vote on a controversial issue
Why do we care if someone on Shelburne Council doesn't vote? Well, because the Deputy Mayor of Shelburne, by virture of the position, sits as a voting member on County Council-the entity who wants the quick cash from the sale of the rail line.
Monday, September 13, 2010
At the August 7, 2008 meeting of Council, Mayor Fawcett was questioned about any potential business dealings with Highland Companies and whether she had a conflict of interest. Click the link for the minutes: http://melancthontownship.ca/08council/minutes.august7.pdf
In a nutshell, she determined, and probably rightly so, that she was NOT a sitting member of Council while a business deal with a family member occured with Highlands.
Okie, dokie, so "technically" - remember that word, you are going to need it when you piece all this together, technically she was NOT in conflict because she was not on Council at the time.
Recap: Ron Dillman opposed Debbie Fawcett in the 2006 municipal election and Ron won. Tragically Ron died in January of 2007, leaving a race for Mayor all over again, which to be fair, Debbie won.
At the September 9, 2010 meeting of Council, Mayor Fawcett not only announced that she was not going to run again for Council, but the reason she was not running, was...she has a conflict of interest with respect to the Highland Companies and she wanted a Mayor sitting at the table who did not have to declare whenever the Highlands issue reared its ugly snout (okay, okay, so I paraphrased the "ugly snout" comment).
Why is the Mayor NOW saying she has a conflict? She explained that because Highlands has purchased the property (or several properties) directly across the road from her she now has a conflict. I am still not convinced that this means she has a conflict of interest as defined in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, but the Act is very specific that it is up to each municipal councillor to make their own determination and their own declaration. If I feel she is in contravention of the Act, I personally would have to bring a court action, within six weeks of learning of what I feel is a conflict and have a judge make that determination.
So why am I conflicted about this "conflict". Well because there is a technical conflict and then there is the perceived conflict. I personally feel the sale of land by a family member of the Mayor to Highlands in 2007 is MORE of a perceived conflict than living across the road.
Hell, if anyone in proximity to Highlands had to declare a conflict, that would make almost every single ratepayer in Melancthon between Shelburne, Hwy 24, Hwy 10 and Badjeros in a conflict.
Check tomorrow for a list of who NOW declares a conflict as it relates to Highlands and who SHOULD, in my esteemed opinion be declaring a conflict and don't.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
if you are a Canadian citizen and you are at least 18 years old
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I am providing links to candidates in Mulmur and Melancthon who are running.
These are not endorsements (mostly because I do not want to ruin anyones chances by endorsing them) rather they are there because they are the ones I could find on the internet.
If you are an elector, please inform yourself on the issues and get out and vote on October 25, 2010.
Those candidates who do not have a website but are running for Council, please get with technology and put a website up. It is a new century.
Just a thought....but running for Council in 2010 without a website would be like running for Council in 1890 without a horse & buggy.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Mayor Fawcett announced at the September 9, 2010 meeting of Council that she would not be running in the 2010 election.
After a particularly "vocal" and "closed" meeting of Council, Mayor Fawcett submitted her resignation the day after the September 9, 2010 Council meeting, effective immediately.
Mayor Fawcett has NOT resigned, effectively immediately and will be our Mayor until after the October 25, 2010 election. And more importantly, will remain the Mayor until a new Council is sworn in.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, however, about questionable conflict....
For the first time, Melancthon is holding aVOTE BY MAIL system...if you do NOT receive a ballot in the mail on on or before, say....September 25, GO directly to the Township of Melancthon.
And please, do NOT be afraid. The vote by mail method is as tested and true as the vote by status quo and/or questionable means method.
It might EVEN, dare I say, increase voter participation.
One to be elected:
Bill Hill – Mayor (Incumbent Deputy Mayor)
Rob Uffen – Mayor
One to be elected:
Darren White – Deputy Mayor (Incumbent Councillor)
Barton Malloy – Deputy Mayor
Three to be elected:
Wayne Hannon – Councillor
Dennis Sanford – Councillor
Nancy Malek – Councillor
Alexander Banks – Councillor
Janice Elliott – Councillor (Incumbent)
John Crowe – Councillor (Incumbent)