A couple of notable highlights from the past month
Posted February 24, 2018
MAYOR SMITH BRINGS FORWARD A MOTION
At the January 30, 2018 council meeting a notice of motion was brought forward by Mayor Smith to change council’s meeting schedule for the month of April. The motion was formally dealt with at the February 20th council meeting. The motion read as follows:
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the April 17 Committee of the Whole meeting be cancelled and any reports that would have been taken to that meeting and require immediate action be brought forward to the April 12th Coordinated Committee meeting;
AND FURTHER THAT the April 24th Council meeting be moved to April 17th.
My comments to this motion were as follows:
Procedural by-law section 3.6a states:
In the event of the Mayor or Chair absence, illness, ore refusal to act as Mayor or Chair, the Deputy Mayor or Vice Chair shall Chair the meeting;
I have been chairing meetings for three terms of council including a board of 27 members and I’m quite capable.
I believe tonight’s motion is to accommodate one member of council’s vacation and to avoid having me chair a meeting and fulfilling my duties as Deputy Mayor.
I believe that once you start rearranging an entire month’s worth of meetings for one member of council you are setting a slippery precedent.
I support our current meeting schedule.
In response to my comments, Mayor Smith clarified that he was not going on vacation but rather business.
Following the meeting Mayor Smith confirmed for me that the “business” he spoke to was personal business not town business. Never in my 12 years on council did the Mayor or any member of council rearrange an entire month’s worth of meetings to accommodate their own personal business. In my opinion, to rearrange town business for one’s personal business and to avoid the Deputy Mayor chairing a meeting in their absence is unprofessional and petty.
The motion was approved by a vote of 5-2.
THE OUTCOME OF MY MOTION REGARDING WASAGA DISTRIBUTION
At the November 28, 2017 council meeting I brought forward a notice of motion regarding WDI which was formally brought forward for consideration by council at our January 30, 2018 meeting. My motion read as follows:
BE IT RESOLVED THAT at the direction of Council, the Wasaga Distribution Board of Directors conducted a review to evaluate the sustainability of WDI and its affiliates which included public input, and at its conclusion resulted in Council voting in favour of retaining and growing the utility; Regular Council – January 30, 2018 Page 5 of 7
AND WHEREAS Council received a briefing note on October 26, 2017 from the Board of Director Chair indicating that the information note to Council, marked as a low level of urgency, was not intended to be tabled at Committee or Council but was to advise council of the decision of the board to hire a CEO;
AND WHEREAS In response to a November 7, 2017 email from Deputy Mayor Bifolchi to Chair Preager, she was advised that the briefing note was for councils information only, there was no need to have the new position of CEO ratified by council and that any further questions she had on the matter should be referred to the Mayor as the Shareholder representative;
AND WHEREAS Schedule A Section 5.2(d) Matters Requiring Shareholder Approval of Wasaga Beach by-law 2000-65 states that “neither the Corporation nor any Subsidiary will, without the approval of the Shareholder (or the Corporation as shareholder,) respectively; take or institute proceedings for any winding up, arrangement, reorganization or dissolution”;
AND WHEREAS the creation of the proposed new CEO position encompasses a reorganization of the existing management structure and would require prior shareholder approval;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council direct the Board of Directors to provide an update to Council during an open to the public meeting and prior to advertising, interviewing or hiring for the position of CEO, provide information to Council for their consideration that justifies the creation of a CEO position, position criteria, salary expectations and ongoing cost commitment to the position as well as expected paybacks from the position being created;
AND FURTHER THAT compensation including all payouts for each board member for the 2016 and 2017 years be provided to council as well as board member and affiliate company board member’s current compensation rates be shared with council including documentation of the required Shareholder approval for said compensation as per section 4.10 of bylaw 2000-65.
Prior to voting on the motion I made the following comments:
I appreciate the information provided to council from the CAO.
I respect the solicitor’s opinion, his interpretation of the WDI bylaw, however my opinion and interpretation differ.
Regardless of how any of us interpret it, this council as the elected representatives of this community, the very body who appoint the WDI board members, have the ability to request things from the Board. If the board refuses or gets defensive, like when I requested to see their meeting minutes, we have to ask ourselves why and perhaps re-evaluate the board itself.
I, along with a great number of this community have lost confidence in the board.
After everything this community has gone through on this matter, I believe we deserve to have an understanding of why the Board feels it should hire an outsider to be CEO. What will the qualifications and expectations for this individual be? Who will be on the interview and hiring committee? What is the expected pay for this position? And what is the expected paybacks from this position being created? None of these questions should be considered offensive nor should their answers be secret.
Why not hire for the CEO position, from within, a member of the WDI staff team who has directly been responsible for the successful position our local utility is in and who understands its operation. This would be an individual who could continue to keep things operating as they should. This would allow a new person to be hired probably at a much lower rate, to come in and share their ideas as to how we will retain and grow in the coming years. This person does not need to hold the title of CEO or be a permanent staff member to do this.
I believe that our residents deserve these answers prior to any hiring being done. I respectfully request that this council stand behind their residents and the concerns they have shown and get these answers by supporting this motion before you tonight.
My motion was defeated by a vote of 5-2.
HARASSING THE PARENTS NOW!
On February 23, 2018 my mother, Sandy Litz called me and asked why a Freedom of Information request would have been submitted to Wasaga Distribution/Wasaga Resources, asking for information dealing with all work that their business (Robert Litz Contracting) was paid from 2006-2018. I have served on council from 2006-2018 … coincidence that this time frame was asked for dealing with my parents business?
We believe that since the bullying behaviors, rumours/innuendo and inability to find any real dirt on me, they have now chosen to harass my parents.
Here is a bit of history;
My parents came to Wasaga Beach 30 years ago. They are respected and are known to be honest hardworking people. I am proud to have them as my parents. They have been hired by many local residents and businesses over the years … including Wasaga Distribution.
This freedom of information request screams of desperation. We can only assume that whoever has requested this FOI, only for the years I’ve been on council, is for the purpose to attempt to discredit me. For those who aren’t familiar with FOI requests, the name of the person requesting the information is forbidden to be shared with the person/company the request is about.
I thought I would take this opportunity to point out (before someone spins a whole big lie) that for whatever the purpose of this FOI is, at no time have I been part of the WDI Board of Directors nor have I ever had any input into who they hire for projects. Any work my parents business has been hired for has been done independent of Town Council and me.
I will also note that while I believe someone obviously wants to highlight the work my parents have been hired for during my time on council, they were hired to do work for WDI prior to 2006 and my time on council as well as prior to 2003 when I moved here.
I will also note that my parents have hired Wasaga Resources to do work on projects that they have built, owned and operated in Wasaga Beach over the years.
As I have said before, if you hear something about me, please give me a call. I have no secrets.
To those who want to dig for dirt … knock yourselves out!