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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Editorials Too Much To Ask For

by Doug Harvey
Too Much To Ask For

At the Central Elgin Council Meeting held September 11th, 2017 under Correspondence (for Council's Information) a report from the Integrity Commissioner regarding a complaint made by a person that came as a delegation before Council at a Central Elgin Council Meeting on June 26th, 2017. This incident brings into question the Code of Conduct that Council and staff must follow when dealing with the public. It would seem that bringing in the Integrity Commissioner to deal with a complaint made by the public is a complicated, costly, and just system to properly address incidents relating to the Code of Conduct that Council and staff must follow.

Councillor McNeil was the only one to comment on the Complaint Report saying that it doesn't happen very often, only once in my seven years on Council with somebody actually going through the process making a complaint. I think that we are a much more effective Council because of the Code of Conduct and anybody should have the ability to question the activities that occur, and by having a independent third party like Mr. Maddox sees it in our favour.

However, Councillor McNeil did not mention any actions that would be taken from the recommendations in the Integrity Commissioner Complaint Report. After reading this report I found that the Integrity Commissioner's Report clearly states " I believe that kind of dialogue does not live up to the standards outlined in your Code of Conduct - while I don't believe it to constitute harassment it is clearly inappropriate and does not serve the interest and business decorum of the Council chamber. An apology may well be in order.

I believe it would be helpful for all members to review and understand the commitment that your Code of Conduct provides in establishing a public trust that is one of the cornerstones to healthy democracy.

I can recommend external resources to provide guidance in this regard if you wish."

After being a witness to this whole ordeal, it seems that we have a Code of Conduct that gets followed when convenient, and when not, an apology may well be too much to ask for.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 September 2017 12:41:12 PM EST

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