Neighbours act to ensure CAO-friendly environment

In its April 4 edition The Eganville Leader reported that “NAW Council no longer has say in twp. Staff management.” It started the story with the following paragraph:

A resolution passed last week by North Algona Wilberforce Township council officially places all management of township staff under the direction of CAO/OM Andrew Sprung and reinforces the municipal tradition of confining elected officials to the development of policy as opposed to the administrative management of the day-to-day operations of the municipality.

Current readers will recall that a month earlier we published an opinion criticizing MV Council’s failure to adopt the same “municipal tradition”. Click HERE to read that opinion. To date that article has been met only with public attacks by the Mayor on the Current’s publisher. This has resulted in attention being diverted from its subject matter; i.e., Council’s intermeddling in the day-to-day operations of MV Township.

The Code of Conduct for Council and Staff in North Algona Wilberforce Township already contained the following paragraph:

Council & Staff – Roles & Responsibilities

The role of Council and Staff is traditionally one of the first items to be clarified for a new Council. Clearly defined roles, distinguishing between the concepts of “governance” and “management”, are critical to the success of a municipality. It should be reinforced at the outset that Council sets the policy for the municipality; it does not participate in the daily operations of the municipality.

MV is not a complaint-friendly environment either?

While reviewing NAW’s Code of Conduct for the purpose of this article, the Current noted that it contains detailed information about how members of the public can make complaints against members of council and staff. It also informs its residents as to the existence of its Integrity Commissioner and provides a step-by-step guide for referring a complaint to the Commissioner.

By contrast, MV’s website gives the impression that the Township has no complaints protocol at all, whether against members of council or staff, and we could find no mention of its Integrity Commissioner, let alone how to refer a complaint to him.

The websites of other neighbouring municipalities searched by the Current also contain easily-accessible links to their complaints protocols. In most cases, these include guidance for residents in how they should be used. This practice conforms with a municipality’s basic obligation of accountability.

The Current contacted Council requesting comment on NAW’s Resolution, including whether there was any consideration of doing the same. It did not receive a reply to this request.

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