Saturday, November 3, 2018


I recently came across an old Woolwich Observer Letter to the Editor from May or June 2015. It was written by Scott McMillan who has just become our new councillor in Ward One. I really don't know the person although although I did introduce myself and shook his hand at a council meeting this past week. Possibly Richard Clausi may have advised me that he taught him at EDSS (Elmira District Secondary School) a long time ago.

In his Letter to the Editor Mr. McMillan suggested that if one or two councillors had run afoul of the Municipal Elections Act (MEA) it could be written up as simple bad luck or incompetence. However as literally half the council (ie. 3) were found with major and serious errors, with two of them being by law supposed to have been immediately removed from office, something else is involved. Mr. McMillan felt that there was likely a serious staff problem involved in this situation.

I suppose I could nitpick and suggest that councillors are ultimately responsible for their Financial Statements (they are) and I could also suggest that two out of the three most likely intentionally were trying to deceive with the third just being self-servingly lazy, but Mr. McMillan actually is correct. Both the Municpal Clerk and the CAO screwed up royally. The Clerk was new, having taken over after the recent sudden departure of Clerk Christine Broughton. I've always wondered about that but am so inured to the misstatements and gobblygook put out by Woolwich Township, that I wasn't going to waste more of my time asking just to receive an unlikely answer.

Financial Statements are submitted to the Clerk prior to the March deadline. She is supposed to take a look at them and spot any glaring errors. This of course recognizes that she is not an accountant but then neither am I, Dr. Dan Holt or Richard Clausi and we had no trouble seeing and smelling them for what they were. In the case of Mark Bauman she and he both knew that he was supposed to file a Financial Statement, whether he was acclaimed or not. They both chose to ignore provincial law and got caught red handed. The Clerk's followup attempt to coverup her and Mark's failure was not appreciated.

The CAO is ultimately responsible for the performance of all Township employees. Knowing that Val was new on the job he should have
confirmed to himself that she was on top of things especially the Municipal Election and the followup legal responsibilities of candidates. It is fair to say that he did not. Also I have to wonder how many other municipal employees are kept on the job more due to their loyalty to council and senior staff than their loyalty to the citizens paying their salaries and for whom they ultimately work.

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