The rights and privileges we enjoy as citizens must always be balanced with responsibility. They should never be influenced by individual pride and ego.
The right to criticize our leaders, whether political, educational, or religious, should first require a search for truth, the duty to listen and learn, and the patience to allow due process to run its course.
Your members of Town Council, in collaboration with senior members of municipal staff, continue to forge ahead and are developing policies that protect your interests. However, there are a few citizens in the community that just won’t let up.
Complaints made to the Integrity Commissioner, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, and requests for information that are often frivolous and sometimes vexatious are costing taxpayers dearly.
Despite the best efforts of municipal administration, these individuals persist in filing complaints and requesting information that is either unavailable or extremely time consuming to produce. Time that could be better spent on priorities has to be dedicated to dealing primarily with three individuals who seem to be getting quite a kick out of holding the other 4,500 residents hostage.
Despite asking them politely to bring their legitimate concerns directly to members of Council, they choose instead to pursue avenues that are not only time consuming for staff to respond to; they can often end up costing tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, nearly $100,000 has been billed to the community by the Integrity Commissioner so far. There are other cases that have yet to be fully investigated and more invoices to come.
Most if not all the situations that gave rise to these formal complaints and requests for information occurred before our new CAO was hired, and before Mayor Britton and the Town’s treasurer left their positions in early July. They were not caused by administration or Council as presently constituted.
Sorting out what was left incomplete and sifting through several hundred lingering emails has been a daunting task. Prioritizing what needs to be addressed immediately against what can wait has been quite frustrating for staff, while having to deal with a few disgruntled residents who believe their rights should take precedence over everyone else’s.
Citizens do have a right to complain and have their concerns dealt with in a timely manner but there are many ways to approach an issue without having to resort to costly external interventions.
Members of your Town Council are open to dealing directly with anyone who wishes to contribute to advancing our community’s collective interests. There will be ample opportunity to do so when things open up and we are able to have residents participate at public meetings and contribute in a more positive and effective manner.
In the meantime, and once again, Council asks for your patience and indulgence.
For more information, please contact Osei Bosompem, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Iroquois Falls, at 705-232-6357 or at CAO@iroquoisfalls.com.
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