CFN – South Stormont Deputy Mayor Tammy Hart claims to be a champion for Accountability and Transparency. She also claims to be worried about the public purse, but her actions, sadly, seem to move in the opposite direction.
She has a rabidly loyal following; but like Rob Ford’s following; the truth has to be digested. And then what?
This past few months have been very troubling for Ms Hart, but it’s also been troubling for those that she has attacked including her staff and council in South Stormont, myself personally, this newspaper, and the fledgling South Stormont News which she has highhandedly put in jeopardy.
It’s an election year and some people do strange things; especially when they are insecure or fearful. Ms Hart was upset over the Pellet plant procedures.
She was upset with the clear process for budgeting for staff salaries. She was so upset that her unprofessional behavior led to the Integrity Commissioner, Robert Swayze, ruling against her after doing a thorough investigation which Ms Hart also attacked.
Ms Hart was next seen in action fighting the proposed wishes and plans of a group of doctors wanting to expand their medical clinic in Ingleside. Expanding. In this day where communities are fighting to get more health services Ms Hart, the sole voice of her council, went on a rampage trying to go against the grain. Was she a maverick and all of the rest of staff and her council wrong? The public clearly did not think so.
There is a program that prospective politicians are offered in Ontario. One of the subjects covered is what happens when you lose a vote. Common sense would dictate that holding grudges is never the way to move forward. Tammy holds grudges.
We reported these issues, and because of my business partner’s involvement in the community, and because we have had a terrific working relationship with South Stormont dating back to our work with Bob Copeland and the South Stormont Chamber of Commerce Trade Shows, and now my own participation on the board of directors of that organization, we commenced work to come out with a community newspaper in print and online. The South Stormont News.
We sent a proposal to present before Council.
Hi Betty, Hilton, Mayor McGillis, & Council;Thank you for giving me this opportunity to present before council.South Stormont is one of the fastest growing regions in our area. As I’ve discovered these past few years covering South Stormont there are some great areas for growth. We have seen that with our support of the Farmer’s Market and now with my service on the South Stormont Chamber of Commerce that the public does respond with pride for local endeavors.What we feel is that one of the fulcrums of growth would be a community newspaper, in print as well as online.The South Stormont News will be serving the residents of South Stormont by covering news that is important to local people.It will be an economic development tool for South Stormont as well; from Small business to large as their costs to promote and market events and their businesses will be less than offerings in Cornwall.Our format will be the same dimensions as The Seaway News. We will be running in colour from cover to cover and even have 25% of the paper in what’s known as High Brite paper which is bright white instead of traditional newsprint.South Stormont News is incorporated and has its head office in Ingleside. We are taking great care to source services and products locally when possible.What we are hoping is that your council shares some of our vision and that we can work together to ensure the community’s success further.We are offering a 20% discount for the Township Bulletin that is currently being published in B&W in the Seaway News. That’s a large saving for tax payers while helping support local business. Win win!We also will be offering you space for any future advertisements or notices with similar discounts.That again can add up to a lot of savings over the course of the year!
A final note; CFN practices what is known as Gonzo Journalism. South Stormont News is a separate corporation and entity. It will be practicing a more traditional style of media.Our future together is bright. If anyone has any questions prior to the presentation please feel free to call or email.Thank you,
Jamie Gilcig – EditorCornwall Free News & Seawayradio.com
Date: March 13, 2014
To: Mayor McGillis and Council members Cindy Woods, Richard Waldroff and Barry Brownlee
From: Deputy Mayor Tammy A. Hart
Re: Presented at the March 13, 2014 Council Meeting to raise awareness and objections to the funding of start-up company, The Cornwall Free News.
I wish to note my concerns and objections regarding the decision made during a budget meeting on March 5th by Mayor McGillis and Council members to provide tax payer money to help fund the start-up of a small business, The Cornwall Free News.
During the March 5th 2014 South Stormont budget meeting; Mayor Bryan McGillis, Councillor’s Cindy Woods, Richard Waldroff and Barry Brownlee voted to award The Cornwall Free News $10,600.00 of financial assistance towards the cost to establish a private newsletter called the South Stormont News; within the Township of South Stormont.
During the meeting, the Deputy Mayor raised concerns of the possible misuse of tax-payer money regarding the funding of a sole enterprise; and voted to reject this motion. The Deputy Mayor also questioned; if it was now the mandate of Council; to help fund small enterprise.
In light of this recent action taken by the Mayor and Council, and prior to the funds being allocated to The Cornwall Free News; as Deputy Mayor I feel, there are questions and issues that need to be addressed. On behalf of the tax-payers I would appreciate the following questions answered prior to any funds being released:
I would like to know where in the by-laws (or in the history of South Stormont) that a “Precedence” had been set, to provide funding for a start-up company;
How was it determined by Mayor and Council that this company, The Cornwall Free News, met the criteria to warrant funds and if so, what was the criteria;
What, if any, are the terms of this “Loan” of $10,600.00 to repay the taxpayers; or are the funds considered an “Agreement” in terms that “The Cornwall Free News” will agree to establish a small business within the parameters of the Township of South Stormont and to provide employment for “X” number of people;
Was a Business Plan provided to the Mayor and Council and if so, can it be made known in order to have complete disclosure;
Was there a Request for Proposal (RFP) discussed or awarded prior to agreeing to fund a small business start-up;
And lastly, if we set this “Precedence”, how will Council be able to refuse the next proposal to establish a business within the Township of South Stormont.
On behalf of the tax payers of the Township of South Stormont, I respectfully request these questions and concerns be answered in writing prior to any funds being released to The Cornwall Free News.
Tammy A. Hart
Deputy Mayor of South Stormont
Hi Tammy,In light of your actions I think it best if you resign as Deputy Mayor today; before 5 PM.
Are you planning on telling your loyal fans, why the OPP were at your house last night?…
An Open Letter to the Taxpayers of South Stormont
March 18, 2014
Four members of Council have decided collectively to take this unprecedented step to inform our taxpayers on an issue that has discredited the integrity of four members of your elected Council and Township staff.
There has been a suggestion by the Deputy Mayor that in Council’s deliberation for the 2014 budget, preference was given to support a newspaper attempting to establish itself in South Stormont, namely, the South Stormont News.
“Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Therefore we wish to explain and clarify the misinformation being circulated by Deputy Mayor Tammy Hart, the “Open Memorandum” in regards to the “South Stormont News”.
In December 2013, a presentation was made to Council to introduce a newspaper with a local flavour specifically for the residents of South Stormont. The South Stormont News requested the Township consider advertising in this new publication on a monthly basis, much like the Township does in another local newspaper. Council was is favour of the project in principal, however, a review of marketing initiatives would take place as part of 2014 budget deliberations.
The issue of increased advertising came before two budget meetings. Discussion ensued with members expressing concern questioning the need for more advertising however, as a growing community with an increasing need for communication with our residents through multiple media avenues, an increase was approved.
Two (2) proposals for newspaper advertising were presented at the January 21, 2014 budget meeting and a report was prepared by staff for Council to consider. The discussion centered very much about the value and need for further promotion of South Stormont, programs, activities and opportunities. Council agreed to advertise in both newnewspapers.
We are taken aback to think a member of Council would mislead the residents of South Stormont in this fashion. This attempt to discredit the reputations of your elected officials and total breach of trust against fellow members of Council is disgraceful.
We trust this open letter has provided the rationale employed by your Township for the betterment of our communication in our community.
Mayor Bryan McGillis
Councillor’s Barry Brownlee, Cindy Woods, and Richard Waldroff
Is it really the Deputy Mayor against the world? Does any reasonable person think that Mayor McGillis and councilors Brownlee, Woods, and Waldrof are all wrong and meanies, and that only Ms Hart is the teller of truths? Really?
Ms Hart, instead of showing some humility and apologizing, and resigning, attempted to spin in the Seaway News.
Yet again where is that accountability and transparency that Ms Hart claims to be a champion of? Again, the resolution below from the council meeting.
Where things stand now? Well it was reported in The Standard Freeholder, a Quebecor owned newspaper, that Ms Hart will be getting another hearing with Integrity Commissioner Robert Swayze which will most likely cost her big time.
She clearly has been caught lying multiple times. She’s participated in a hate group. She’s participated in boycotting new business in her community from the Pellet Plant, to the health clinic, to having an actual Community Newspaper (not news letter as Lois in the Free Holder stated even though the PDF they attached in the story clearly stated newspaper); but mostly she’s lied to her supporters.
There of course will most likely be lawyers and lawsuits in the future for Ms Hart and some of her supporters. She clearly has violated her oath of office, and she most assuredly has lost the faith of her council.
There is only one honorable choice she can make if she truly cared about her community, and more importantly the cost to taxpayers as she has done many of these actions in her official capacity as Deputy Mayor.
That choice is an apology and resignation. And if she wants to run again in 2014 let the voters of South Stormont decide if they wish to endorse her.
What do you think dear viewers of CFN? You can post your comments below.
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