CORNWALL Ontario – A Kilgeresque moment Monday night at a special Cornwall Ontario City Council meeting as Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy and Councilor Elaine MacDonald refused to declare themselves in Conflict of Interest even though they are on the very steering committee that was seeking cash. (and apparently will receive it.)
Councilor Carilyne Hebert, who sits on the same committee did recuse herself, as did Councilor David Murphy, who is employed by Gerry Benson.
The Steering committee was previously given cash from Cornwall taxpayers to fund a University for our city. That report never came to be and instead Council were presented a new plan with a new request for $75K to attract Aerospace companies to set up shop at NAV CAN which is scrambling to use its space.
Again, no public consultation was involved in the process and the request came AFTER the budget process, and not during. ( A little of the old shake and bake)
What is most hypocritical is that Gerry Benson was one of the founders of the Community Action Group focused on keeping city taxes down yet has been bloating them with these requests for cash.
“As well the Act captures as an indirect pecuniary interest a councilor who is a partner of a person or is in the employment of a person or body that has a direct pecuniary interest in the matter. ”
Both O’Shaughnessy and MacDonald acknowledged being on the committee which in fact was directly seeking cash.
The Municipal Act is quite clear and there now is a period where any citizen could challenge their actions via an expensive court process. Super Lawyer Clayton Ruby for example had stated that a Rob Ford type challenge could cost in the vicinity of $400,000.
That however doesn’t change the actions. O’Shaughnessy ran on a platform complaining of these very types of actions taken by former Mayor Bob Kilger.
Mayor O’Shaughnessy to date has seen three festivals die during his first mandate in the city and had National negative exposure over the forced closing and destruction of a family ice rink during Christmas while seeing the taxes for Cornwall not reigned in, but raised to the same 2+ percentage points per year during Kilger’s reign.
So much for change in Cornwall.
As of press time the video of the meeting was not on the city’s website.
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