NewsNow E-Edition September 22, 2022

Opinion: Snake oil continues to be sold…

There were zero surprises at Monday’s special council meeting – called to deal with findings submitted in two letters from the office of Ombudsman Ontario which were tabled at the April 18 regular Grimsby council meeting.

I expected more from the Grimsby Five, really, something to justify two plus hours of discussion on matters which could/should have taken 15-20 minutes in last week’s meeting.

Off the top, it is important to note, every person around the table has acknowledged inside and out that some errors were made in process – not in direction or intent – as the Ombudsman report also noted.

That does not mean council should brush issues aside and disregard the whole thing, but the horse died two years ago. I think you can stop flogging it now, fellas.

The Ombudsman noted he saw some smoke, investigated, but found no fire. He made no recommendations, but did note some simple processes which could be reviewed and some education on processes council/staff relations could also be in order.

Some administrative motions could have been passed to deal with the matter, done, time to move on.

By no, hold the phone.

It’s an election year, and what self-important, antagonistic councillor would walk away from an opportunity to drag out a three-year-old issue even further.

Not our Five, no sir/ma’am.

Now, Coun. Dave Sharpe needs to be commended for standing up to his posse by noting the claimed conflict of interest – which never existed in the first place but sounded great piled on the rest of the flaming pile of doo-doo generated by the haters of Mayor Jeff Jordan – just was not there.

Despite Sharpe breaking away from his usual voting group of Ritchie, Vaine, Kadwell and Dunstall, a motion to send an inquiry to the Integrity Commissioner to review the claim of conflict was approved when Jordan himself voted in favour. No doubt, and who can blame him given the antics he’s faced, he wants to have a document in place to limit what will assuredly be some stellar election campaign grandstanding.

There were so many odd little things, things that just don’t happen, that again, I implore you good reader, to go the town site to watch the recordings yourself. Yes, it is two hours of your life you won’t get back (boy, I’ve burned a lot of time this term) but if you have any doubt or questions, you need to see these things for yourselves.

At the top of the oddity pile was Coun. John Dunstall. He read a lengthy introduction clearly penned by someone else or with a ton of support as none of the language in there were phrases he has ever uttered. It almost seemed as though a CAO wrote the document, given the formal tone and turn of phrase present throughout.

Dunstall said more words in that presentation than he has at council in this calendar year.

Similarly, Coun. Dave Kadwell attempted to read comments with which he was clearly not comfortable. This was easy to tell as he struggled to even get some of the words out, so highly unlikely he wrote his either.

Again, I wonder who the puppet master is behind these players?

The sad part in the farce is time and time again it is the taxpayer who loses.

Look at the issues with the other Ombudsman report; hopelessly poor planning went into the execution of terminating former director of finance Steven Gruninger and two others in the finance department. The knee-jerk move left the town without a treasurer, Bothwell noted, – a breach of the Municipal Act – and insufficient signing authorities for a lengthy period from March 31 to April 26, 2021.

It was clear this should be thoroughly investigated, yet, taxpayers get out-of-town homeowner Randy Vaine actually commending the CAO for quick thinking in a tight spot. Hilarious if not so sad. Vaine, like others in The Five often do, ignore the reality that their boy fudged the dismissal, caused the issue with the terminations and contravened what had been approved by council by sending staff down to the bank to be made signing authorities.

You can’t make this stuff up!

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