Comments about the November 20, 2012 Council Agenda (Craig’s Commentary 2-48)


The pdf version of the full agenda package is at:

https://southbrucepeninsula.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=51735

An Html version is at:

https://southbrucepeninsula.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=51733

Following are comments on a few select agenda items.
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In spring of 2012 the Ontario Ombudsman investigated closed meetings at TSBP, and found 3 contraventions of the closed meeting provisions of the Municipal Act.

The clerk swept the Ombudsmans’s report under the table, claiming that it wasn’t a real investigation, and conveniently forgetting to mention the contraventions to anyone.

Councillor Kirkland was so adamant that “they” had done nothing wrong that he wanted to track down and punish the person that lodged the complaint.

Instead of correcting their unlawful behavior, Clerk Cathrea and Mayor Close, who control the meeting agendas, have contravened the closed meeting rules more and more.

Items which should not be in closed are in closed. The general description of items in the agenda consistently falls short of what is required by law. And Council has been illegally voting in closed.

All of these contraventions are because Ms. Cathrae and Mr. Close don’t want the public to know about their shenanigans. All the items are in closed to hide from the public the fact that money is being illegally taken out of the treasury. All the items are in closed to hide the fact that certain people are taking care of themselves first and the pubic not at all.

And if any councillor doesn’t approve of the contraventions and dares to challenge what is going on in closed sessions, they are threatened and intimidated to keep them from telling the resident all the bad things going on behind closed doors.

The November 20 agenda has seven items in closed. Most or all should be in open.

Agenda Item 4.5 Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose AND Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals affecting the municipality or local board (Sauble Beach Land Claim)

This should be in open. The residents need to know. So the residents can know, (because staff will tell us nothing and council members are gagged), I have a new web page dedicated to providing information about the Saugeen Ojibway First Nation Land Claim.

It’s at: http://craiggammie.com/

(and click the SOFN Claims tab).

The material on the website is mostly material that John Strachan and I got from the court files.

There is clearly something missing from the court files, namely the argument by the plaintiff (Saugeen Ojibway First Nation) of why the beach from main street North to seventh street belongs to them.

I will try to get that document.

I think the claim is groundless. And bogus.

Item 4.6 Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose AND Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals affecting the municipality or local board (Litigation and Insurance Considerations)

The title of a closed item is by law supposed to give the public an idea of what the item is about. Not even councillors have any idea what this one is about. Another contravention. Why can’t Clerk Cathrae comply with the law? (But then again, what do John and Angie care about the law?)

Agenda Item 7.3 Mike Davis, Cuesta Planning-Reconsideration of Parkland Dedication Fees

The Consultant Davis wants county parkland fees waived for his Sauble Beach client. The consultant wants council to make a resolution in support of his bid to have the county remove parkland fees.

There are two reasons to deny the request (for a supporting resolution). First, it is not within TSBP jurisdiction to lobby the county on behalf of some consultant or even some resident. The consultant needs to fight his own battles at county. TSBP council has better things to do. Second, it’s a bad idea. If parkland fees are waived then income to the county is less and the shortfall has to be made up with extra county taxes for the rest of us. That is not fair and it is not in the public interest.

Agenda Item 8.3 MLEO28-2012 Dynamic Beach By-Law

Currently the dynamic beach by-law applies to the public beach and to several privately held parts of the beach. Staff are recommending that the private properties be excluded from the by-law.

The staff recommendation relies upon two “legal opinions” regarding whether the dynamic beach by-law is enforceable on private property. Both of those opinions say it is not.

The two opinions are worthless. They are worthless because they were requested and paid for by the very people promoting non-enforcement of the dynamic beach by-law on private land, namely Angie Cathrae and John Close, with no control to ensure that the requesters did not influence the “opinions”.

The two opinions cannot possibly be considered objective.

It is clear that Ms. Cathrae influenced at least the O’Melia Opinion, and maybe even drafted it. It is thus a contrived “opinion”. It should carry no weight in the decision.

In addition, I submit that the O’Melia’s opinion letter is a poorly researched piece of junk. I believe that the O’Melia conclusion (that the by-law is unenforceable on private property) was predetermined and then an argument was hastily prepared to fit the predetermined conclusion.

A more complete critique of the O’Melia position is at:

http://craiggammie.com/My Documents/critique of omelai opinion of 2012 10 15 re dynamic beach law.pdf

The Greenfield Barrie opinion is similar. Requested and paid for by people who had already decided on the answer. And without any kind of control to ensure that staff did not influence the outcome. The Greenfield Barrie “opinion” is also worthless.

The only legal opinion that should matter here is the one done by Donnelley law. That opinion was done pro bono, with absolutely no outside influence, and can be considered unbiased and objective.

That Donnelley law opinion says the by-law is legitimate and enforceable on private property.

An alleged contravention of the Dynamic Beach by-law on private property will be heard in Owen Sound provincial court on Thursday November 22. This will give an indication of whether the by-law is enforceable on private property. Council should defeat the by-law, or at least wait until after the court case.

What is the rush?

Agenda Item 9.2 Notice of Motion-Councillor Turner-Equal Access to High Bandwidth Broadband (November 6, 2012)

Jim Turner wants council to support, by resolution, Uxbridge council’s resolution to the Ontario Government to change broadband licensing policies. This is a matter for the Uxbridge area MPP’s. It is outside Uxbridge Council’s scope. And it is certainly outside TSBP council’s scope.

Item 10.2 By-Law 130-2012 A By-Law to Implement a Sewage System Re-Inspection Program

Most residents of TSBP are very conscientious about making sure their septic systems are working properly. But there are a few who just don’t give a damn. These are the few that are willing to risk their neighbours’ health. It is for these few that a septic inspection program is necessary. It is unfortunate, but you can’t tell until you do the inspection, so you have to inspect everyone.

The proper inspection protocol is the March 2011 protocol developed by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

It doesn’t have to be, and it shouldn’t be, the expensive TSBP program. That program will cost residents $300 for the inspections, and no matter who does the inspections, it will cost residents tens of thousands in completely unnecessary “upgrades”.

And with Genivar doing the inspections the unnecessary upgrades will cost that much more.

Genivar are the people who tried to sell us and are still trying to sell us a 70 million dollar solution to a problem that does not exist. If they come on my property I will arrest them. Using whatever force is appropriate for the circumstances.

Item 10.3 By-Law 131-2012 Being a By-Law to Amend By-Law Number 44-2009 Being a By-Law to Adopt the Manual Governing the Policies and Procedures for the Corporation of the Town of South Bruce Peninsula (Grants and Donations)

Grants and donations are governed in law by section 107 of the Municipal act, which is:

“107. (1) Despite any provision of this or any other Act relating to the giving of grants or aid by a municipality, subject to section 106, a municipality may make grants, on such terms as to security and otherwise as the council considers appropriate, to any person, group or body, including a fund, within or outside the boundaries of the municipality for any purpose that council considers to be in the interests of the municipality.”

The interests of the municipality here mean the interests of the Corporation, meaning the interests of the residents as members of the corporate body, meaning the public interest.

Yet the draft grants and donations policy does not mention the public interest, and does not even allude to the public interest.

Section 107 of the act should go in the policy. And “in the public interest” must be included in the decision criteria.

Craig

The Rest of the Story


 

 

> —– Original Message —–

> From: “Vivian & Gordon MacDonald” > To: “Jim Turner” <jim.turner@southbrucepeninsula.com>

> Sent: Friday, April 13, 2012 6:46 PM

> Subject: RE: Budget

>

>

>> Jim, how much training have you had in being a good councillor?

>> Vivian Sent: Saturday, April 14, 2012 1:43 PMSubject: Re: Budget  Vivian

 

 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

 

 On November 1, 1945 I was added to the mix and began my training to be a

 good councillor.

 I learned tolerance from my father as well as impatience with authority and

 stupidity from my mother.

 Throughout my successful years in the Ontario education system, during which

 I earned school letters for academic success, I was exposed to much that

 would stand me in good stead in later years.

 I was a voracious reader, especially the libertarian works of Bastiat,

 Hayak, Rothbard and of course the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand so

 aptly delineated in her monumental novel Atlas Shrugged.

 I must confess that I was at least as much entertained as informed by my

 reading and hope you will not hold my entertainment against me when

 considering how much the information I soaked up has assisted me in my new

 political career.

 I own the complete works of Robert Heinlein, which taught me to apply

 libertarian philosophy within the social system, first editions of all the

 novels of Tom Clancy which gave me insights into political reasoning and

 intrigue as well as learning how to deal with the destructive and divisive

 side of the body politic and the social insights of Glen Beck and Bill

 O’Reilly in the battle against the forces of government intrusion into the

 lives of free people.

 My ten years as an employee of BellCanada and my tenure as a member of the

 board of the BIA and C of C taught me to work successfully within a hierarchy

 and my forty years as an independent business owner in both distribution and

 retail has assisted me in the area of fiscal responsibility.

 I have, by all accounts that matter, successfully raised five children to

 adulthood which taught me, among other things, to mediate disputes and

 choose carefully the words I use in doing so.

 Since being elected as councillor I have attended numerous seminars and

 training sessions, many provided by AMO and most recently OGRA/ROMA.

 I keep a copy of the Handbook for Councillors handy for reference and have

 read and understand the procedural bylaw of the town and have more than a

 passing familiarity with the Municipal Act.

 I have never missed a council or committee meeting that I was elected or

 assigned to attend.

 I even answer demeaning, accusatory and provocative emails and phone calls

 from anyone as you can surely attest and consider the exercise to be a part

 of the ongoing learning and training process.

 

 I hope your question has been answered and now one of mine for you.

 Do you still wish me to provide information on the “parking lease” item in

 the budget? If so please supply the department and line item as requested or

 in the alternative contact the Manager of Financial Services at 5195341400

 ext 104 so she can locate and read back to you the explanation which I

 believe already exists in the budget minutes.