Should Cornwall Follow Brampton & Clean House at City Hall by Jamie Gilcig SEPT 8, 2016

The City of Brampton just axed 25 management and senior officials in what has to be one of the most progressive house cleaning jobs in Ontario Municipal history.

From the Toronto Star article:

“We had to notify 25 individuals that had to exit the organization this morning,” he said, but Schlange would not divulge details of who was let go. “Building a better organization has led to the elimination of 20 jobs (the other five will be replaced). All non-union management jobs.”

“I will not be citing specific individuals at this time . . . I can tell you 25 have left and I’m not replacing 20 of those.”

Veteran Councillor John Sprovieri had publicly stated that he could not work with certain senior staff he did not trust, because of evidence and allegations in a $28.5 million lawsuit against the city over the $500 million development deal. The city denies all the lawsuit’s allegations.

Could the same happen to other cities including the City of Cornwall?

CFN has been told that it was city officials that killed a potential deal for the Domtar lands, as they are, with a major Canadian operation, with one of that firm stating that the town was being run by a bunch of  XXX  XXXXX at City Hall.   The company, besides being a major industrial player is also community minded and is connected to a major sports franchise as well.

Can a city like Cornwall afford to see its taxes go up, especially business and industrial taxes, without getting results from City Hall?

Many of the current management team do not even live in the city.  Our police chief for example seems quite satisfied with OPP policing as he doesn’t live in Cornwall, yet when a councilor mentioned having Cornwall switch to the OPP he went on a rampage including this internal memo that was sent out in 2010.

dan parkinson letter

A call out to several community leaders and elected officials brought back some interesting responses.

One person who has ran for council sent in the following.

In Cornwall we have 10 elected councillors that are not responsible for any section of the city, nor or wielding competence and authority in their assigned functions.

When writing about a problem or concern there is no identifiable councillor and correspondence is for the clerks department to guess how to  forward — or misdirect and sit on as has been past practice.

Some of these councillors may be assigned to committees and boards, but with little to no experience in managing, nor a reasonable knowledge of the functions of the organization to which they’ve been assigned, it’s virtually a fraud to say that there is any oversight.

That leaves city operations in the hands of a lot of inept and ineffective managers.

Proof of their ineffectiveness is all around us, especially in city planning. The city’s official plans have the lifespan of a child’s aquatic pet. Planning is farmed out to consultants, and the decisions are left to managers on what to accept – and a glance around Cornwall is evidence of their failure to get that right.

–          The mish-mash of development at 14th and Brookdale has created a traffic “fustercluck” , yet planners are building on that ineptness at Marlborough, and McConnell and 9th.

–          A dozen years ago a sketch was submitted to the city (and ignored) for the old Coutauld’s spur line, suggesting 2 lanes in each direction, and avoiding the mess that is now access to Bridgewood Public School (and the road grade at the adjacent intersection is another accident in waiting).

–          The usual small town favours that permit drive-through coffee shops allowed at through intersections (and waiting vehicles spilling out on the street).

–          The recklessly laid out bike lanes that are below any reasonable standard of safety, and improperly defined and painted.

And none of this poor planning even approaches the mismanaged waterfront that needs to be RESTORED not developed – trees and grass, not bricks and asphalt.

Bring back the shoreline, let lower town development focus on the areas of substandard housing stock and decrepit infrastructure bordering our greenspace. If the city wants to develop something, MAKE IT THE ECONOMY.

The most development the city has done, is the building of bank accounts belonging to friendly construction firms, lighting and traffic signal providers, and street painters, and the consultants feeding them.

Real economic development should focus on marketing Cornwall as a place to live; and the easiest demographic is seniors – the jobs and supporting assets will follow.

Senior facilities bring jobs; well paying health care and service jobs, lab and medical facilities employment – far better than  lining the pockets of real estate hucksters, speculators, and the rest of the flim-flam artists that milk our town.

A start would be to fix governance and the city hall culture or lack therof…

–          Cut back on councillors and assign areas of the city they are responsible for/to

–          Dismiss managers that are inept or that need hand-holding by consultants

–          Hire only necessary and effective staff

–          Audit the bank accounts, travel history, and hospitality of our seemingly “vulnerable” city hall rogues, along with their conflicted intere$t$.


Oh yes, and lastly, maybe fewer decisions made at Pitt Street waterholes (although a pretentious move up from the legion). We’re near our fill of drunks and coke-heads – and seriously, a breathalyser for councillors ahead of all meetings and presentations.

This writer executed an exercise.  I ran down the names on the city’s management directory and the following were the only names give thumbs up by all those canvassed; IE whose names were selected by all canvassed who thought they should survive a purge:

Ken Bedford – Planning

Elsie Bissonette – IT

Richard Bourdeau – Operations

Ely Daniels – Planning

Mary Fontenas – City Works

Manon Levesque – Deputy Clerk

Owen O’Keefe – Water

John St. Marseille – City Works

Stephen Wintle – Planning

The group whose names were on each list canvassed for removal were:

Pierre Voisine – Fire Chief

Lorne Taillon – Leisure

Len Tapp – Transit

Janice Robinson – Civic Complex

Candy Pollard – Business Development

Bob Peters – EcDev

Kevin Lajoie – Information

Bill DeWit – Municipal Works

Lisa Collette – Clerks’ Office

Myles Cassidy – EMS

Diane Brown – Mayor’s Office

Mark Boileau – Planning


Maureen Adams – CAO

Does Cornwall Need to Clean House of Sr Mgt Like Brampton Did?

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The common theme was that how tough the local economy has become because of a perception of failure emanating from City Hall.   While elected officials take most of the heat they are not hired, and some are on the Sunshine list, to perform roles and tasks, but to lead Senior Management and give direction.

Clearly many are starting to think that it’s time for a new direction at City Hall in Cornwall Ontario.

What do you think dear CFN viewers?  You can vote in our poll above or post your comments below.



  1. Brampton is just a little bigger than Cornwall; 523k for Brampton 59k for Metro Cornwall. So Brampton is not Cornwall; Cornwall is not Brampton. I get the jist of the article. But unless there are replacements able to step in NOW is replacing senior management at city hall realistic? And how many have golden handshake deals in place? Can we afford to keep paying obscene payouts?

  2. Author

    Hugger let’s put this in perspective. The 2016 budget was about $160M for the city of Cornwall.

    Let’s draw a line and say that all things being considered a good management team can add 5% to the bottom line and a bad team can cost you 5%.

    Personally I believe those numbers can be higher and in the case of Cornwall are probably about double if not more of a negative impact, but using the conservative numbers that could mean a poor result could mean a 10% overall impact.

    That would be $16M per year wasted on bikes paths on Second Street, etc.

    Cleaning house essentially would cost less than one year’s waste. If you believe that a house cleaning is in order that price is well worth the price.

    Likewise your new hires could be under some different contractual conditions as they are non union management positions for the most part.

    For example, you could offer a smaller base salary with a tax credit for those that choose to live in Cornwall.

    If we put Cornwall first and make sure the steps we take lead to where we actually want to go you’d be surprised what can be achieved.

  3. I agree in concept. But as a taxpayer I am fed up with my taxes being wasted on payouts to competent / incompetent employees shown the door given golden handshakes or to cover lawyers fees covering whistleblower lawsuits. The gravy train has to stop. Arrggghhhh!!!!!!

  4. Author

    Hugger as long as things are run the same way you get the same results.

  5. I agree. But as a taxpayer I’ve had it with the wasteful spending that goes on. Changes need to happen. Hopefully in 2018 Cornwall will get it right in the elections and Wynne and her gang of crooks will also be shown the door.

  6. Re: Chief’s weak diatribe…
    When cops jumped ship to the OPP, and sissier ones made threats to, the Police Board and City Council caved with “retention ” bonuses (i.e.raises for nothing). They now give out pats on the head, promotions, and overtime too — gas money for commuters? And the annual dinner farce gives everyone an award, right down to participants almost.
    Leader or overpaid patsy?

  7. ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t say it better. The entire town of Cornhole needs an absolute clean up from top to bottom and so much waste. Anybody with half a brain can see what is going on in Cornhole and it is something that I have been preaching for many years. Get a stick and throw them all out and direct them to the dump where they belong. The same goes for the dirty low life clique.

  8. Hugger did you say a little bigger than Cornhole? LOL LOL. How is your math? 523K for Brampton and 59K for Metro Cornhole? Cornhole is a farm compared to other municipalities and I would not call Cornhole a city but a farm. A humoungous cleanup has to be done in Cornhole. Get out the pitchforks and send them as well as the clique on the nearest railroad out of town to the dump.

  9. I agree with Jamie and Hugger here and Winnie the Poo has to go from TO as soon as possible and why not now get rid of her and all libtards. I am very conservative and don’t believe in waste at all of any sort. Paying out money to the clique and all the rest of the refuse of Cornhole is insane. Bike paths on city streets is a complete and utter waste. Ask Ottawa.

  10. Roads are for cars and not bikes. There are those useless green areas on city streets here in Ottawa and at least 7 people were killed. Cars as well as bikes don’t obey laws and it is terrible the stories that I can tell you. Bikes on bike paths in parks and not on city streets. What a complete waste of money and time.

  11. Hugger changes will not come in Cornhole unless everyone including yourself get up on your hind legs and get out there and throw out all the bums and all the crap that is going on. If you don’t do that along with everyone else don’t expect change. Everyone has to make those changes. The entire system is corrupted to the core and you have to get rid of all of them – clique and all to the dump.

  12. Jamie add to the list for removal the HR Manager he spends more time away from work then at work when he is at work rumors at the hall is quite a bit of his time is spent with the CAO apparently they are really close he does not work well with any departments or unions and many employees are so convinced he has no idea what he is doing and hopes council will soon catch on to this fact

  13. Jules, I was trying to bring some ha-ha to the article in reference to Brampton just being a little bigger than Cornwall. I agree that changes have to be made. But if the voting public is not interested in changing what is happening…..

  14. Cornwall would do well to learn from other communities. Cleaning house in Brampton Ontario is a move worth exploring,
    The London Ontario integrity commissioner making city hall accountable for inappropriate “canoodling” is also a worthy example. That kind of action would have exposed the “affairs” in our city hall, and the depraved parties that destroyed a Cornwall nurse’s career.

  15. Hugger when I read what you posted I thought that I was losing it for sure. I am getting old but that threw me for sure. I went out with my daughter and I nearly died coming home after that long walk and all I could do was laugh about Cornhole like you would not believe – why I don’t know but I sure did. Cornhole has to come up to the 20th and 21st century and it is ridden with the worst.

  16. The problem with Cornhole is that it doesn’t want to learn because if it did it would have changed an awful long time ago and it stayed behind all others because of that horrific and backward mentality. Cornhole is something else and I have no other to describe except on the TV show of that mayor in Hazard County in Mississippi on the TV show and Don Knotts as that chicken cop on Andy Griffith.

  17. The residents have to want change. It appears they don’t. so…

  18. Hugger if people don’t want change they stay at the bottom and they will die literally – a ghost town. Cornhole needs a massive clean up like you never saw before and the clique has to go literally out the door – out of town completely where they can never be found again ever. People have to leave town as well and stop this in-breeding – welfare doesn’t work. Educated and intelligent people wor

  19. When people in Cornhole complain about not having anything to do or no work well you have to go where the work is. If you find work out west then you have to go out there. Many people go out and rent an apartment together in order to afford it and the work isn’t going to come to you but you have to go to it. Clean up is a must in Cornhole’s town hall – it is a real mess and soap opera all in on

  20. Agreed Jules. But if the majority of taxpayers / voters don’t vote for change it’s hard to get things done. And going out west for the “oil boon” is not an option now. A lot of people are returning to the east due to the balloon bust in oil.

  21. Author

    Hugger, in the last election, partly because of CFN and myself, we turfed a mayor and 5 incumbents. I’d say that people in Cornwall do want change. They just need better options than the likes of Brock Frost and Carolyne Hebert.

  22. A good start. But the clique still has influence. So I’d say the job is not done.

  23. Author

    The community needs to do a proper house cleaning next election.

  24. Fer sure. The current mayor and council are inept or more inept than the previous mayor and council. I didn’t think that was possible, but I guess it is..

  25. I just read the name Caroline Hébert and I am about to throw up. What a loss of an election that was and yes the clique has to go one way or the other they have to be forced out of town. People everywhere are more than fed up of high taxes and high utility bills and high rents, etc. A complete overhaul of Cornhole is necessary. I feel for those paying those humoungous payments.

  26. Hugger yes the oil boon will not come back very soon especially after that fire. I read where it will take 15 years to come back what it was. People have to leave town and go elsewhere for education and work. We have someone we knew for over 40 years (a Lebanese) and his son became an RCMP went out west and back in Ottawa. You young people leave Cornhole get educated and go elsewhere.

  27. The current mayor is completely inept as well as his wacky, incompetent council. The team looks more like something out of a comedy show that became a real tragedy. The entire system in Cornhole needs a complete overhaul – throw them all out including the administration and start from the beginning. Throw the clique out of town – the town is finished and I am not joking I am mighty serious.

  28. Hugger I never saw such a crazy, unfit bunch as the present mayor of Cornhole and his incapable and insane bunch of losers as his council. The whole bunch is like the wackiness of the three stooges gone amock into a terrible tragedy. BOB (heaven fogive me for saying this) was a great deal more capable than LEZ and his crazy inept bunch and that is the truth. Did I praise BOB? Gee I am losing i

  29. I would just like to comment on the media article released by Chief Parkinson. He states there are other dark slimy places in the city. Well Chief, if we do have those places and I’m sure we do, then put your men and women of the force out there to clean them up. Many times I see two or three cruisers parked in a parking lot somewhere for long periods of time. Get on the road!!!

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