Open Mike by Mike Bedard – City Governance – More Dollars To Consultants in Cornwall Ontario – May 4, 2012

What is Governance?

CFN – Governance is the act of governing. It relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. It consists of either a separate process or part of management or leadership processes. These processes and systems are typically administered by a government.

As the definition states our Councilors are or should be directly responsible for defining the expectations to city administration on the citizen’s of Cornwall’s behalf and grant power to certain individuals to do so.  Verifying performance has been seen as micromanaging and any time the discussion of performance comes to light it is washed aside as a non-issue or an issue not needing attention due to the mirage some senior politicians have created to protecting themselves from being scrutinized against.


The fact that we just hired a consultant to perform “Team Building Tasks” for our municipal council and its administration is mind boggling.  Our Council needed to spend money to be told that they should discuss topics more before making decisions….ouch!  That is pretty much making it clear in my opinion that too many decisions have been made without discussing them enough!


Also, Mayor Kilger said it would take some time to digest and select some priority areas from a fairly exhaustive list of suggestions………another example of how one could think that poor performance is being administered, if an outside consultant , provided an “exhaustive list” of suggestions or that Mayor Bob is getting old and is exhausted very easily!


Bob Kilger ran his last election campaign under the slogan “Builder Bob” and he lashed out against Mark McDonald saying he would create a Gong Show at City Hall.  Well the Gong Show is here and it had nothing to do with Mark.  Your comments Mr. Kilger were that there was no need nor would it benefit the City if such a government existed.


Why have you not resigned or made any personnel moves? Surely the leader of an efficient government would clearly recognize the need for change after so many in the community have voiced their displeasure with the way city hall is being operated.  The lack of taking sides during important debates, the mistreatment of employees, the lies and image portrayed by so many closed door meetings cannot be considered as part of an efficient government!


In summary, if our municipal leaders need to pay a consultant to tell them to use public consultation, discuss topics amongst themselves and to seek the input of administration more often before making decision at council; then the need for change around the table has never been as clearly needed than as of today!  The fact that an exhaustive list can produced by an outside agency in such a short period of time should open a few eyes of those who have supported certain figure heads at City Hall!


The time for change is NOW and the people not the process are the problem despite what  their self-evaluations may say!  This reminds me of the bad employee blaming the company or process for their firing instead of themselves for not being capable of doing the job properly!


Thank You,
Mike Bedard

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  1. Why not just weed-out the deadwood in Council and appoint the bunch of runners-up in their place. Mark or Leslie are people of high moral fibre and would make a great Mayor. Incidentally, there would be no golden handshakes for anyone forced to leave!

  2. “When we get behind closed doors, we can let our hair hang down” sang Charlie Rich in his slow, melodic 1973 country song of the year.
    The mayor and his clique should play it just before council meetings start, to get in the right frame of mind for the evening’s shenanigans.
    Mike Bedard’s article is thoughtful and a good read.

  3. There you have it. You didn’t talk about yourself and how great you are and wrote a perfect article. Keep up the good work. You’re welcome for my ruthless criticism. No need for thanks or gifts!

    I still think you should jump all over the Waterfront Committee at the meeting and blend the need to conserve open space into your platform of new government.

  4. Awesome article Mike….so true. Bye bye Bob!

  5. Another huge problem with the City is that most everyone with the top jobs think they are it, that they are the ones who keep operations, moral, employees in check for the better good, this is so far from the truth. Mike your article is a good read but let me tell you this. There are so many staff members at the City who are soon to retire within the next couple to three years, do you really think they care for the employees???????? these people only care to run out their time and care about fattening their pensions. You only have to walk the halls to hear them say it. Maybe it’s time for these people to quit too, maybe it’s time for people who have strong ethics and who care about their jobs and this City to be pushed now into positions where positive change could be made.

    At the end of the day, these managers, the CAO, HR (for what there is of one) know who these people are maybe before the “good hard working employees” leave for other jobs, figure this problem out as well, it’s not only about cleaning up the Mayor and his Council that will make change, it’s about cleaning up the dead wood Managers/employees as well, bring up people, promote the ones who care, many good people have left their jobs at the City because of the stress, the BS, the games played, the favouritism and the list goes on. You just have to read a local paper to see it.

    You want positive change, then start making positive change. Mayor Kilger it should not take some time to digest and select some priority areas, you, the CAO, Managers, HR you all had years at the City to have made positive change and it’s not too late.

  6. A culture has taken hold at city hall that is not going to be undone by any governance seminar.

    These little conferences are baloney, with little break out sessions, future visioning exercises, team building discussions, role playing and trust games… really, just warm fuzzies all around.

    The hucksters that throw these seminars want to get paid, and it pays to simply leave participants feeling good about themselves and each other. It doesn’t much matter that nothing of substance is learned or put into practice.

    And at any rate, given what George Cuff has to work, the old adage still applies… garbage in, garbage out.

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