CFN – Deputy Mayor Tammy Hart is trying to rephrase some of the statements she’s made in earlier documents and releases. Ms Hart harps on transparency and accountability. She bleats about saving money for taxpayers so let’s take a closer look and see how transparent and accountable she really is being with the public.
Here is the excerpt from what was just published:
In regards to my recent statement (“Council battles over spending dispute,” Page A1, March 19, 2014), I wish to clarify a couple of issues.
Please know I completely understood council agreed to advertise in The South Stormont News (SSN) during the first budget meeting on Jan. 21, 2014.
My point has always been (and what I have been trying to express), is that at no time during the final draft budget on March 5, 2014 was it clearly understood by me that the expenditure of $10,600 for The South Stormont News was solely for advertising.
There are no signed agreements of any kind, no information in front of me describing an ad of any sort for advertising in this newspaper. Had the Mayor and council members disclosed this point at that time, I would have suggested that we vote to support funding for the SSN after we can establish its existence.
Unfortunately now this issue has snowballed and taken on a life of its own. This is just another example of why transparency is so important and needs to be adhered to by everyone. I do hope that Council will reconsider supporting The South Stormont News and vote to use taxpayers` money for badly needed infrastructure instead.
I would like to add one thing; I answer to the taxpayer not the integrity commissioner, the mayor or council. The voting public will have the opportunity to judge my integrity in the October election. I look forward to it.
Once again, I am all in favour of supporting local business and anyone who is thinking about establishing a business in South Stormont I welcome it.
Tammy A. Hart
Deputy Mayor of South Stormont
Here are her words from the leaked memo.
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.
Is she being honest in her letter above? Ms Hart clearly was given the information of the proposal as was all of her council. She sat through the presentation. At no time was any other request made than that the township advertise in a new newspaper.
From the same memo:
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;
Again, nobody at any meeting or in any document mentioned the term “loan”. Likewise how do you get from financial assistance to loan in the same document? And the amount? Where did Ms Hart get that if not the amount of advertising involved if you took the township bulletin and discounted it by the amount we discounted in the email.
Is there a reason to show a business plan to sell an ad? In five years we’ve never had to provide one, and we’ve had some very large clients?
How much has Ms Hart cost the township with regards to the integrity commissioner for issues she’s been found guilty as charged? How much further simply because she won’t put the community first and admit her wrongs and resign?
How much has she cost businesses in South Stormont in regards to possible delays to the Health Clinic in Ingleside, and The South Stormont News which had been slated to start in December, but was delayed because of Ms Hart’s attacks in front and behind the scenes? How many other cases are there that haven’t been published yet?
South Stormont just put out a budget with a zero tax raise; that in spite of its Deputy Mayor. Perhaps taxes would have gone down without the lost productivity and costs attributed with dealing on issues she has caused.
Her first response to the Council’s condemnation of her actions was to release another document in the Seaway News.
“I would like to offer my prospective on the situation in South Stormont regarding the $10,600 awarded to a new newspaper.”
Going back up to her new statement in the Freeholder, if she was aware that it was an ad buy why state the above in the Seaway News?
Is this being accountable to her council and ratepayers? There is one very very clear message coming from Ms Hart, and that’s she’s put her personal feelings ahead of the community.
Her further actions such as sending two OPP cars to my home at night over a polite email (with no charges or warnings) clearly show a pettiness and hatred not acceptable as a serving official.
Ms Hart is not an innocent victim. She is not the target of some witch hunt. This isn’t simply a dispute between two parties as some of her supporters have spun. She is a person that clearly has raised the ire of her own council and community and is being held accountable for her actions which I’m sure will also be held before the courts as well shortly.
As her council jointly stated:
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.
I’m not sure if Ms Hart is simply getting bad advice or simply has poor judgement? Frankly as a business person at this point I don’t really care.
What I do see is a party that keeps trying to hold her community back, and frankly that’s sad, and that’s the record that she will be running with again possibly.
In the meanwhile Ms Hart let’s stay transparent and accountable, on all issues, and let’s spin the truth and not lies as your memo clearly did.
Let’s stay on point and tell the truth.