His first term was marred by several illegal in camera meetings culminating with the Illegal waterfront committee meeting where chair Lee Cassidy moved the meeting in camera with former Mayor Kilger and former long time councilor Glen Grant at the table.
That begs the question of whether he or any of the other councilors can discuss issues that were in fact not in camera material or are they forbidden to do so? Likewise if the latter is true can it be used as a tool to hide truths from the public?
I asked three councilors that question and they all had the same reply. “Good question?”
He discusses it one on one with CFN in the audio clip above.
The focus is on his allegation that the onus was on city clerk Helen Finn to inform Council or the chair, in this case Bernadette Clement, if a meeting violates the rules.
He was also frustrated in not receiving timely responses from CAO Norm Levac which was quite ironic as this writer has complained of the same.
What was most disconcerting was that the meeting itself was not long and if most of the discussion was not related to the issue of cutting or freezing staff on the City payroll then clearly this council isn’t focused on fighting taxes.
Currently they are looking at raising taxes over 5%.
Councilor Dupelle mentioned an interesting fact in that council are not seeing timely department audits which are a tool for them to make some of the tough policy decisions that councils make.
What do you think dear CFN viewers? You can post your comments below.
It would appear, that this Council didn’t learn anything from the many visits of the “closed door investigator” ? Like many voters, I was of the opinion that with the cleaning house, that took place around the Council table, that these illegal practices would cease ? Once again, the only one standing up for true transparency, is Conc. Dupelle. Most, if not all of this present gang, brought up the need for absolute transparency at City Hall during the recent election ? Lastly, why is it, that an elected Councillor cannot get answers from City Administration on this topic ? I was hoping the last eight years were behind us……
I can understand Maurice Dupelle’s frustration. It is up to city clerk Helen Finn to inform Council or the chair if a meeting violates the rules. As well timely responses MUST be received from city managers and especially CAO Norm Levac. It is hard to make budgetary decisions if you don’t have the current information in front of you. From what I hear the tax hike is now around 3.68%. That is better than the original 5.58%. But there is a ways to go to reach what I would think is acceptable to Cornwall taxpayers….2%. The 2% can be reached WITHOUT cutting staff or services. The departments, all, including police, fire and EMS, can reach this target if they look long and hard at their proposed budgets. The departments also have to have the desire to reach a 2% target. But I think a lot of departments have the attitude that their budgets as presented are untouchable.
Seems that nothing ever changes in Cornwall….
No nothing changes in Cornwall nor will it ever change until the hard times come very soon and then maybe by some miracle something will click in their frail minds. The vast majority cannot afford those high taxes and many cannot even afford the 2%. Many children are going to bed hungry and going to school that way as well.
Crystal ball gazing gets boring.
Hugger1, There’s a lot that this council can do to bring down lower numbers and cutting STAFF is one of them. There’s too many deadwood staff on city payroll, certainly in Parks and Recreation, EMS, Building Dept. and maybe a few other departments. Must be a reason why some of the managers planning to retire this year are delaying their retirement, possibly hoping for a buyout, I’d guess. Councilor Dupelle is absolutelly right about closed meetings. The Mayor wanted transparency but is not delivering on his election pledge
Quite frankly Maurice Dupelle has not cornered the market on frustration. Should Bernadette Clement, a lawyer, have been able to navigate and interpret the meeting rules even without the assistance of another lawyer, Helen Finn? You decide for yourself. Personally given Clements background and years on council I find it difficult that her ability in regards to that particular concern is at such an apparent juvenile level. Her disconnect on understanding the meeting rules speaks potentially volumes about her professional ability and many people would be embarrassed or humiliated. I get the impression that Clement is simply apathetic to the Cornwall community and only concerned with her own agenda. That is frustrating.
As far a department audits being tardy is concerned put it to an end with the utilization of real leadership decisions. Should a department not present information in a timely fashion to council for deliberation and consideration then simply hold their budget at last years levels. In other words an instant zero increase for that department. Council could during the fiscal year consider a request for emergency funding from that department but not be bound to necessarily approve the request until the following budget review process. If this was introduced as a necessary repercussion to poor management of the affected department then council would not be approving blind requests to further raid the taxpayers near empty (or empty) pockets.
Now we just need a leader to step up to the plate.
Maurice you have the ball, what are you going to do?
Pete Walbee….from what I hear the tax hike is now set at 3%. But they can still do better. I agree some departments are bloated. I think one solution would be to have the staff of Parks and Municipal Works interchangeable. I can’t see there being too much work for Parks in the winter, they could be put to work at Municipal Works. The same can be said for Municipal Works in the summer, send some employees to Parks. The Building dept is understaffed.
I think what David Oldham suggested in regard to budgets would put an end to tardy reports, etc. If they knew their budgets would be pegged at the previous year’s level reports would come on time.
The best is to get rid of unions and they are the reason why our jobs have been sent overseas to be done at a fraction of the price. We can no longer have unions. Farm out the jobs privately and for a lot less money and you will see work done at a cheaper price and done well. When you hire city workers you have too many chiefs and not enough Indians. People standing around watching the one or two doing the job sniffing the air and enjoying themselves. Fire the vast majority and let people in private industry show you what they can do. People in government at all levels are mighty lazy and after all the years that I worked in the federal government I can attest to that.
The city and its citizens would benefit from more work being contracted out. A competitive process would allow the taxpayers some welcome relief. A competitive process would enable us to achieve a zero tax increase without loss of services. For example if the majority of parks and recreation was tendered out we would benefit immediately from a cost perspective. The bulk of the workforce privatized would immediately reduce monies going to expensive pension, benefits, salaries and equipment overhead to mention but of a few cost saving areas.
The immediate associated benefit is that productivity and managerial skills at finding creative and necessary cost cutting measures would greatly improve. Why? Because if this step was implemented other departments which also could completely or partly be tendered out to private companies would do some belt tightening in an attempt to remain relevant.
In addition no required job is lost they merely shift from the public sector to the private sector. Conditions on tenders would limit the participation to companies paying business taxes to this community.
Lastly to least effect existing city employees and allow for a smoother transition we would immediately suspend hiring in target departments and gradually increase or phase in the size of tenders over a 5 to 10 year period. No one actually is laid off under this format. This also would greatly decrease any associated change speed bumps.
Getting rid of unions is not easy. Just ask Metro who owns Food Basics, Super C, Marché Richelieu, Les 5 Saisons and Marché Ami. They also bought out A & P the company that owned A & P and Dominion stores. To get rid of the unions in their stores A & P had to close the stores.
I agree with David Oldham. Getting rid of the unions would be a huge tax saving. But getting rid of unions is never easy.
Yes Hugger. Just ask Tea-party Tim Hudak.
I am not talking getting rid of unions I am talking about natural attrition. Rather than replacing employees who quit, retire, die, transfer to another department, etc etc slowly contract out to private contractors their former duties as required. As I stated before no one loses their job, Cornwall does not lose a job it simply transfers to a more efficient and competitive environment. If a private unionized employer wins a tender then no union job has been lost. If a union job cannot compete for the taxpayers money than that is simply free enterprise in operation. No one is union busting. No municipal law states that the taxpayer must replace each worker who leaves employ for any reason. No municipal law states that work cannot be tendered out. No municipal law states that workers must be unionized.
The law does state that the taxpayer be fairly treated and represented. Saving taxpayers money is a fair treatment. Ensuring that the taxpayer gets fair value for money is the responsibility of those elected to represent.
Again this not about getting rid of unions. This is about finding greater efficiencies and savings for the taxpayer. Any unionized company would be able to tender providing such that they meet all necessary qualifications to do business with the City of Cornwall. They must either be a Cornwall business (taxpayer) or majority of the workers required to perform the contract work must be Cornwall taxpayers.These would be just two examples of conditions to ensure that Cornwall continues to benefit from the required jobs.
This is about permitting competition and free enterprise, promoting fairness to all.
You are absolutely correct David. If you’re gonna farm out all the jobs to the lowest bidder, it would be wise to do it incrementally. It might take a few years, but if handled properly, we can have all the workers earning minimum wage, which is all they deserve. The trick would be to do it gradually over a few years so that all the peasants don’t get pissed off at the same time. I’m sure you’ve thought of that.
Furtz as you no doubt know tenders are not about the lowest bid, they are all about value for money. Competition ups everyone’s game and opens doors to opportunities. Union or non-union businesses can tender. You obviously can understand that transitioning to a more efficient method of conducting business is an incremental process, you stated that as did I so we are in step on that reality. Why you feel that workers should earn minimum wage is either your brand of sarcasm or ignorance of the simple reality that a free enterprise system dictates the value of work performed. When workers are over compensated for this value jobs start disappearing to other jurisdictions. Take a look at Ontario’s once strong manufacturing sector from a competitive perspective if you will. Soaring costs of energy may have caused the final death spin to manufacturing but the landslide started with the loss of a competitive edge do largely to soaring employment costs. But then I’m sure you’ve thought of that.
Replacing workers as David Oldham suggested is doable. But it would take years, as I’m sure there are a few workers who have just a few years in. Would the city be willing to go that route? I seriously doubt it.
Hugger you have to start with a plan and vision. Even if it took years at the end of the day you’d be where you wanted to be collectively. I’m not saying to end unionization, but if we have a situation that is unsustainable and our service won’t or can’t come up with solutions then we have to think outside of the box and look at all possibilities.
I’m not arguing with you Admin. I’m just saying I don’t think the city would be willing to go that route. Plans and visions are nice. But if the city is unwilling to go that route…..
Then Hugger1 you elect someone who is willing to do what is necessary to protect the taxpayers and the conviction to follow through on their vision undaunted by any roadblock.
The problem Hugger1 is that people have forgotten who runs the city and what a representatives purpose is. The tail is wagging the dog Hugger1.
Visions Hugger1 create purpose and purpose fosters hope and promise. These are some of the ingredients needed to inspire and motivate people to come together and embrace positive change that benefits not a few but ultimately all. We should all give our heads a shake Hugger1 for allowing the “unwilling” to prevent us from reaching such an obtainable goal.
The lack of vision was one of the main reasons for Cornwall being mighty far behind other places and you had the same people in power in administration for many years who were comfortable in their jobs and did nothing to further the town along into the 21st century. Yes a main item that I have been reading about is the cost of utilities for manufacturing and not only manufacturing but ordinary people cannot afford their homes anymore mainly due to sky rocketing utility bills as well as sky rocketing taxes. People can no longer keep up with the cost. Food has gone through the roof literally and getting a great deal worse than before. You folks haven’t seen anything yet because there will be starvation here in Canada and the US (the wealthiest countries in the world) and yes this is coming. Food is going to be mighty scarce and highly expensive. How can families live. There are very few decent places in Cornwall for people to rent and it is a huge shame that things have been neglected for way too long. Jobs are gone overseas and not just in manufacturing but high tech as well and other engineering jobs. Corporations are looking for the lowest common denominator to pay out.
Did I miss the memo about “pick on Hugger1 day?”
Plans and visions are nice. But do you think Cornwall city council would want to go with part city workers / part private contractors in city departments? I can see it being a logistical nightmare.
I’d like to see it happen from a taxpayer point of view. But I just don’t see it happening.
How do you determine how you elect someone who is willing to do what is necessary to protect the taxpayers and the conviction to follow through on their vision undaunted by any roadblock? Do you believe campaign promises? We`ve been down that road too many times federally, provincially and at the municipal level.
Hugger politicians make promises during campaigns. It’s up to voters to determine if the candidate can remotely live up to those promises. I still remember people complaining that Mike Harris kept his 😉
Agreed Admin. How many times have politicians promised one thing during a campaign and then when elected did a 180º turn? I`ve lost count how many times this has happened. It`s not easy trying to figure out which politicians to trust and whop not to trust.
Sorry Jamie, I can’t let that one go by without comment. I don’t recall Harris promising to use a police sniper to settle a land claim dispute, or gut food and water inspection agencies, or sell off public assets to private investors at fire-sale prices, or force thousands of people out of their homes to live on the streets, or pick fights with nurses, doctors, teachers and others. I could go on.
I don’t trust in any politician but what I want done is to get rid of McWinnie and get rid of her perverted sex education to young children. I would literally pull my children out of school if this was ever taught to them. Ontario is bankrupt over McWinnie and McGuilty.
Clean shot Furtz!
I remember when Mike Harris (Harrass) took over as PM of Ontario and the first thing he did was go after the people on welfare. We owned our house at the time and one young guy that we spotted on a bike one morning used our address to collect his welfare check. It was thanks to the postman for catching him and we contacted the welfare office over what was going on and the cheques stopped coming to our house (that was in Cornwall). There are things (many) that we can curse Mike at but believe me there are plenty of good, intelligent things that he did as well and yes it hurt a lot of people and even the good people were hurt but I wish to God that there was a strong leader like him to bring Ontario back to the province that it was once. Ontario is in very big trouble and McWinnie and her liberal/fiberal crooks have bankrupted Ontario. There is no way out of the damage that she caused and it would take a Mike Harris type of a clamp down to get things back on track and yes even Tsabushi’s dented cans of tuna are better than none at all and this is something that people will not be turning their noses at as time goes on because things are going to be mighty bad.