Opinion: Another cringe-worthy moment

By Mike Williscraft

Nobody wonders why, in last week’s offering, I noted grave concern the current Grimsby council could decide the fate of the Town’s fire department by entering into a pilot program to amalgamate Grimsby and Lincoln departments.

It is not out of concern for either department, rather Grimsby council’s ability to grasp the simple and obvious – if it does not suit their favour.

One example is made in this page’s accompanying editorial. Another was Coun. Dave Sharpe going on ad nauseum regarding information requests.

No matter how many times clerk Sarah Kim stated any item requested which carries a potential cost should come via a motion from council, it did not compute. In that instance, the request would have a mover, a seconder, debate on the floor, a vote and be record in the minutes.

These latter items were all things Sharpe said did not come with a simple information request.

This is true. The problem is, Sharpe could not grasp the difference.

If a request for a cost on a planned project is requested from the director of public works, he goes away and comes back with a number.

As Kim noted, simple, information readily available, just not at staff’s finger tips.

Because Sharpe could not get his mind around the concept – nor could Coun. Kevin Ritchie or Coun. Randy Vaine for that matter – of their being two levels of inquiry – an simple request and that of a formal legal opinion – council may look at yet another change to the Town’s procedural bylaw So they can put more control in place.

As noted to the left, this was the same night Vaine accused the minority four on council of looking to change process to suit their needs.

It might help Ritchie grasp some of these concepts explained by staff if he actually appeared engaged in the meetings. On these confounded virtual meetings, he is usually turned to the side working/communicating on an adjacent computer, rarely engaged in the meetings.

It would not shock me in the slightest if he had some sort of chat room set up so he could relate strategies throughout the meeting.

That is just an aside and I find myself pulling a Sharpe and getting off topic, so let’s reset.

The heart of every single issue this council has had goes back to when the G5 did not get their way. They have moved heaven and earth to completely blow up every aspect of how the Town of Grimsby operates and key staff who do that work.

We won’t relive the disaster which has been created by poor staffing situation after poor staffing situation. Quality people, virtually all the history and experience from Town hall is gone save for a handful of integral staff who remain.

Vaine planted both feet in his mouth again Monday creating a deafening silence when he asked deputy fire chief Bill Thomson if he was staying around to execute the fire department pilot project.

The silence screamed, “Do you know something I don’t.”

Because the fact is not a single staff member – save for those who have been on Team Harry before and have been brought in to bolster the roster – can have any level of confidence they will be part of the team tomorrow.

When I hear the Vaines and Kadwells of council get out the pom poms when a report is given and the presenter – like CAO Schlange with Grimsby’s version of the fire department pilot or public works director Brandon Wartman with an update on traffic assessments – receives an unusual amount of accolades, it’s cringe worthy as well.

The cringing comes from hearing the same accolades heaped on then director of finance Steven Gruninger when he presented the budget this year. Weeks later he was terminated.

There are definitely people in the community who think me pointing these things out is too much, that I am going out of my way to show up these fine gentlemen in the G5. Let me assure you, any information I do relate is just the tip of the iceberg.

The treachery is far deeper and more insidious than I could ever relate to the residents of this community.

Each week, if I had time and the inclination, entire editions could be filled with detailed accounts of where things are going wrong as well as how and why major damage is being done on nearly a weekly basis.

The information you get to see are the most stark examples of what plays out at very nearly every meeting.

I say it over and over again, you really need to watch this meetings. It may take 2-3 meetings to get the cast of characters down, but it does not take long to see the patterns. These patterns have not changed since Day 1 and they won’t. We are 487 days to 2022’s election day as of June 24.

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