Nina Bifolchi

Newsroom – Code of Conduct Comments from January 24th 2017

During the January 24, 2017 Council meeting that can be viewed on Rogers TV, Councillor Bonnie Smith made a statement regarding me and Council’s Code of Conduct.

Councillor Smith’s comments were as follows:

“and by the way she has refused to sign that code of conduct, her and another council member so that shows how much respect she has for this position”

I am unclear as to how the Councillor came to the conclusion that I may lack respect for elected positions of council.

During my past two terms of council I never had an issue signing the Code of Conduct nor was I accused of breaking the Code. However, this term items were added to the Code that in my opinion were not appropriate.

On July 4, 2015 I sent the following email to then clerk, Twyla Nicholson, acknowledging receipt of the updated Code of Conduct and my reasons for not signing it:

“Hi Twyla,
As you are aware I have not had any issue in the past signing the town’s Code of Conduct. However, due to recent additions giving the Mayor authority to direct any and all staff, I now am not comfortable signing it. However, please take this email as confirmation that I have received a copy of the Code.
Thanks Nina”

In 2016, the town hired KPMG to conduct a review of the organization and from that review the Code of Conduct was changed again. As stated in a article “Wasaga Beach has tweaked it’s Code of Conduct for council members, removing a section that grants the mayor the ability to direct municipal staff” and “The change comes at the behest of Mayor Brian Smith, after an efficiency report identified that the section created confusion and a morale issue for staff unsure who they needed to answer to – the mayor or the chief administrative officer.”

As you can see the professional consultants shared my concern about the changes that the majority of council approved to the Code of Conduct that allowed the Mayor to direct staff.

Now that council has appropriately changed the Code of Conduct back to its original wording, and appropriately put the authority to direct staff back into the hands of the CAO, I will have no issue signing an updated copy as soon as one is provided to me!

As always, if you hear something that doesn’t quite sound right to you or something about me…………….ask me!!