CFN – It was confirmed yesterday that it is in fact the City of Cornwall Ontario this has hired heavy weight lawyer David Sherriff Scott of the firm BLG as reported yesterday. LINK
From Mayor Kilger:
Mr. Sheriff-Scott is the City of Cornwall’s new legal Counsel and, as such, any undertaking on behalf of the Corporation is compensated by the Corporation.
That means that my tax dollars, your tax dollars, all of our tax dollars are being spent so that a very expensive legal firm can read and monitor what’s being published on The Cornwall Free News!
Now the real questions can be asked.
Are other media also being paid to monitored by this legal firm? Imagine, they get paid to read CFN!
Does this add to the $1.4 Million dollars mentioned by councilor Andre Rivette in our earlier interview? It’s truly mind boggling to comprehend that Cornwall Administration is spending more to have CFN monitored than they did advertising and marketing with us for all of 2011.
We’re officially on the slippery slope and what galls me most is the attitude of certain councilors. Yesterday for example at the special meeting, in and out of camera that was called Councilor David Murphy tried acting like a heavy weight actually raising his voice to me and repeatedly asking me if I thought he should resign?
I told him as I’ve written; that I felt that any councilor that supported what was done, and especially participate in what happened to Councilor Rivette should resign.
I stand by that comment; of course I didn’t have to freak out like Mr. Murphy did. The rookie councilor is showing signs of stress as many on council are ; those that are defending CAO Paul Fitzpatrick and those that are not.
It can’t be much fun being on council now, but what it’s starting to show is that Cornwall Ontario really needs a dramatic clean up from the top down. And that includes the committees that were hand picked by the lay committee chaired by Councilor Grant.
If our leaders are not accountable to the public purse why should anyone else?
Adding 2% to the tax base will not solve the problems. Fixing them, and making sure that people are employed and elected that follow the rules is.
Municipal Act 2001
Chief administrative officer
229. A municipality may appoint a chief administrative officer who shall be responsible for,
(a) exercising general control and management of the affairs of the municipality for the purpose of ensuring the efficient and effective operation of the municipality; and
(b) performing such other duties as are assigned by the municipality. 2001, c. 25, s. 229.
Role of council
224. It is the role of council,
(a) to represent the public and to consider the well-being and interests of the municipality;
(b) to develop and evaluate the policies and programs of the municipality;
(c) to determine which services the municipality provides;
(d) to ensure that administrative policies, practices and procedures and controllership policies, practices and procedures are in place to implement the decisions of council;
(d.1) to ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality, including the activities of the senior management of the municipality;
(e) to maintain the financial integrity of the municipality; and
(f) to carry out the duties of council under this or any other Act. 2001, c. 25, s. 224; 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 99.
Hopefully everyone on Council has read that before.
Now we have to do our job at the Cornwall Free News with this cloud of knowing that every word we write is being scrutinized at $400+ per hour. My tax dollars are actually helping to pay for the lawyers the city has hired to run us out of business.
Is this the Brand that the City of Cornwall is trying to deliver to the world? To investors and to families who are looking for a place to move to?
Council cannot keep hiding behind the camera for ever. You can’t just ignore issues endlessly, and while I’ve heard from a number of good councilors complaining unless they publicly step forward like Councilor Rivette nothing will change.
They say that in abuse that there’s a cycle. Abusers tend to have been abused themselves.
Is it time for the chain of abuse and corruption at city hall to be broken? Only the citizens and governing bodies of Cornwall Ontario can make that decision.
I have been told repeatedly myself over the last few months to issue suit against the city. I have chosen not to because the sad reality is that if I did two major things would most likely happen.
First off those that would have to pay would be our local viewers and sponsors; not those that initiate and support the policies that Mayor Kilger and his CAO are endorsing with the support of councilors such as Denis Carr, and Elaine Macdonald. I also could not perform my role as journalist with litigation in play; something that many have suggested to me is the end game to silence CFN when it comes to council. As it is many on council are muzzled and not even replying to emails or calls.
That’s where we are today. A council that supports a CAO that flaunts his responsibility and power; that calls for city vehicles instead of a tow truck when he gets stuck in the snow, and hires major law firms to intimidate and monitor an independent media outlet in his city.
When they say Cornwall is a city “City with a World of Possibilities” I’m not quite sure that this is what was in mind.
You can post your comments below.
Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)