I was perusing the agenda for March 31st council meeting and noticed in the minutes of last Mondays (24th) council meeting, earlier on today (get a life Nobody). Which I do on the odd occasion. Something jumped out of the page at me like a neon sign:
Beyond the fact that our local municipal government is supposed to be apolitical and non party affiliated, then again I suppose our scissor snapping mayor is in good company with Wynne et al, seeing as the OPP are crawling all over that government also. But I digress……
For the uninitiated Compenso Communications located at the famed 186 Hurontario St that we keep hearing about. Is also the Mayors brothers company. So let’s recap, we have our Mayor accepting a very public gift from her brothers political lobbying company. A year ago she was stuttering her way through a CBC investigative interview on previous conflicts involving her brother, looking rather sheepish explaining “Brothers are not technically a conflict”.
You are probably saying “Relax Nobody what could a dinner cost? Couple hundred bucks maybe, no big deal?” In our world that would probably be the case. But in the rarified air of the movers, shakers and political elites of this province this dinner was $1,500 per plate see below:
The following is an excerpt from the towns code of conduct regarding gifts:
5. Gifts and Benefits
Members of Council will only;
o Accept gifts, hospitality or entertainment that could not be reasonably construed
as being given in anticipation or recognition of special consideration by the
o Accept gifts, hospitality or entertainment with a nominal value of $500 or more
with the prior approval of Council.
o Accept gifts, hospitality or entertainment that can be used/consumed within a 24
hour period and if the offer is infrequent (less than 2 or 3 times a year). Offers of
accommodation or transportation values over $200 are not to be accepted.
o Members of Council acknowledge that the Mayor will in his/her role, periodically
receive and distribute ceremonial or other similar items on behalf of Council and
the Town. Gifts and/or awards given on behalf of the Town shall be
acknowledged as such and not as gifts of any individual member of Council.
“Gift” shall mean something acquired without compensation.
So reading the above I would say for starters the item in bold above, gift over $500. She should have asked permission from council prior to going. Not that that would make any difference her pals would rubber stamp it anyway. But at least we could get some idea who she is hobnobbing with, who else was sitting at her table and what kind of influence might be getting garnered. That’s why these things are supposed to go before council and that is why it is part of the code of conduct.
We now have an integrity commissioner. I suggest that this is a pretty good first item to take a closer look at.