The City of Brampton just axed 25 management and senior officials in what has to be one of the most progressive house cleaning jobs in Ontario Municipal history.
From the Toronto Star article:
“We had to notify 25 individuals that had to exit the organization this morning,” he said, but Schlange would not divulge details of who was let go. “Building a better organization has led to the elimination of 20 jobs (the other five will be replaced). All non-union management jobs.”
“I will not be citing specific individuals at this time . . . I can tell you 25 have left and I’m not replacing 20 of those.”
Veteran Councillor John Sprovieri had publicly stated that he could not work with certain senior staff he did not trust, because of evidence and allegations in a $28.5 million lawsuit against the city over the $500 million development deal. The city denies all the lawsuit’s allegations.
Could the same happen to other cities including the City of Cornwall?
CFN has been told that it was city officials that killed a potential deal for the Domtar lands, as they are, with a major Canadian operation, with one of that firm stating that the town was being run by a bunch of XXX XXXXX at City Hall. The company, besides being a major industrial player is also community minded and is connected to a major sports franchise as well.
Can a city like Cornwall afford to see its taxes go up, especially business and industrial taxes, without getting results from City Hall?
Many of the current management team do not even live in the city. Our police chief for example seems quite satisfied with OPP policing as he doesn’t live in Cornwall, yet when a councilor mentioned having Cornwall switch to the OPP he went on a rampage including this internal memo that was sent out in 2010.
A call out to several community leaders and elected officials brought back some interesting responses.
One person who has ran for council sent in the following.
In Cornwall we have 10 elected councillors that are not responsible for any section of the city, nor or wielding competence and authority in their assigned functions.
When writing about a problem or concern there is no identifiable councillor and correspondence is for the clerks department to guess how to forward — or misdirect and sit on as has been past practice.
Some of these councillors may be assigned to committees and boards, but with little to no experience in managing, nor a reasonable knowledge of the functions of the organization to which they’ve been assigned, it’s virtually a fraud to say that there is any oversight.
That leaves city operations in the hands of a lot of inept and ineffective managers.
Proof of their ineffectiveness is all around us, especially in city planning. The city’s official plans have the lifespan of a child’s aquatic pet. Planning is farmed out to consultants, and the decisions are left to managers on what to accept – and a glance around Cornwall is evidence of their failure to get that right.
– The mish-mash of development at 14th and Brookdale has created a traffic “fustercluck” , yet planners are building on that ineptness at Marlborough, and McConnell and 9th.
– A dozen years ago a sketch was submitted to the city (and ignored) for the old Coutauld’s spur line, suggesting 2 lanes in each direction, and avoiding the mess that is now access to Bridgewood Public School (and the road grade at the adjacent intersection is another accident in waiting).
– The usual small town favours that permit drive-through coffee shops allowed at through intersections (and waiting vehicles spilling out on the street).
– The recklessly laid out bike lanes that are below any reasonable standard of safety, and improperly defined and painted.
And none of this poor planning even approaches the mismanaged waterfront that needs to be RESTORED not developed – trees and grass, not bricks and asphalt.
Bring back the shoreline, let lower town development focus on the areas of substandard housing stock and decrepit infrastructure bordering our greenspace. If the city wants to develop something, MAKE IT THE ECONOMY.
The most development the city has done, is the building of bank accounts belonging to friendly construction firms, lighting and traffic signal providers, and street painters, and the consultants feeding them.
Real economic development should focus on marketing Cornwall as a place to live; and the easiest demographic is seniors – the jobs and supporting assets will follow.
Senior facilities bring jobs; well paying health care and service jobs, lab and medical facilities employment – far better than lining the pockets of real estate hucksters, speculators, and the rest of the flim-flam artists that milk our town.
A start would be to fix governance and the city hall culture or lack therof…
– Cut back on councillors and assign areas of the city they are responsible for/to
– Dismiss managers that are inept or that need hand-holding by consultants
– Hire only necessary and effective staff
– Audit the bank accounts, travel history, and hospitality of our seemingly “vulnerable” city hall rogues, along with their conflicted intere$t$.
Oh yes, and lastly, maybe fewer decisions made at Pitt Street waterholes (although a pretentious move up from the legion). We’re near our fill of drunks and coke-heads – and seriously, a breathalyser for councillors ahead of all meetings and presentations.
This writer executed an exercise. I ran down the names on the city’s management directory and the following were the only names give thumbs up by all those canvassed; IE whose names were selected by all canvassed who thought they should survive a purge:
Ken Bedford – Planning
Elsie Bissonette – IT
Richard Bourdeau – Operations
Ely Daniels – Planning
Mary Fontenas – City Works
Manon Levesque – Deputy Clerk
Owen O’Keefe – Water
John St. Marseille – City Works
Stephen Wintle – Planning
The group whose names were on each list canvassed for removal were:
Pierre Voisine – Fire Chief
Lorne Taillon – Leisure
Len Tapp – Transit
Janice Robinson – Civic Complex
Candy Pollard – Business Development
Bob Peters – EcDev
Kevin Lajoie – Information
Bill DeWit – Municipal Works
Lisa Collette – Clerks’ Office
Myles Cassidy – EMS
Diane Brown – Mayor’s Office
Mark Boileau – Planning
Maureen Adams – CAO
The common theme was that how tough the local economy has become because of a perception of failure emanating from City Hall. While elected officials take most of the heat they are not hired, and some are on the Sunshine list, to perform roles and tasks, but to lead Senior Management and give direction.
Clearly many are starting to think that it’s time for a new direction at City Hall in Cornwall Ontario.
What do you think dear CFN viewers? You can vote in our poll above or post your comments below.