Questions remain about the empty chair

At today’s Regular Council meeting, Mayor Love delivered the promised statement about the abrupt exit of MV CAO/Clerk Doug Robertson. She said:

At the Special Council meeting on February 21 the probationary employment of Mr. Robertson, CAO/Clerk, came to an end. The municipality adheres to a policy of strict confidentiality with respect to all employee matters and accordingly Council will be making no further comment on this issue. We wish Mr. Robertson well in his future endeavours and thank him for his service to the Township. We invite members of the public and press who may have questions regarding general employment practices at the Township to review the municipality’s corporate policies and procedures, all of which are available on the municipal website.

The policies referred to by Love contain the following term in relation to permanent employees: “Permanent appointment as an employee of the Township of Madawaska Valley is conditional upon satisfactory performance during the formal probationary period.”

Of note, however, is that minutes of the Special Council meeting of February 28 record that both Councillor Bromwich and Councillor Archer declined to vote on the appointment of Gwen Dombroski as Acting Clerk. It is minuted that Archer noted that “during a previous closed meeting, Council was informed they would receive legal feedback and noted that she was not prepared to vote until she received that feedback.” She further noted that “decisions were made regarding a CAO/Clerk at a previous meeting and that further repercussions of that decision were not discussed.”

At the same meeting Love advised that a teleconference with municipal legal counsel was scheduled for the Special Council meeting on March 5. The reason for this teleconference was not minuted. Both Bromwich and Archer abstained from voting in the two recorded votes that were required to pass By-Law 2018-26 appointing Dombroski as Acting Clerk. Archer again abstained from voting on a motion to advertise for a new CAO/Clerk during the Finance and Administration Committee meeting held on February 28, referring again to the pending legal opinion.

At today’s meeting Love said:

Following the advice of Municipal Affairs, Ms. Dombroski was appointed Acting Clerk and Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Officer at the Special Council meeting on February 28.

She did not explain why input from Municipal Affairs was necessary.


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