As we approach the final lap of this election campaign, attempts to seduce voters into voting for a particular candidate are intensifying. So far as the incumbent candidates are concerned, this includes the inevitable self-patting on the back for alleged achievements. Some, or maybe even all, of these may have a degree of justification. However, the fact is that there are some skeletons in some closets that voters may not get to hear about.
The Current believes that should be remedied, especially where those skeletons imply possible abuse of power; breaches of the Municipal Act requirements of Transparency, Accountability and Integrity; and general bad behaviour. These usually result in an unnecessary burden on ratepayers caused by legal claims and Code of Conduct investigations, among other things.
Ratepayers were subjected to legal costs in 2017 amounting to more than four times what was budgeted for. In addition as Councillor Archer noted in her recent Eganville Leader interview, there have been five “unfortunate” investigations by the Township’s Integrity Commissioner. Based on the recent report of Guy Giorno, the Commissioner, only one of these has been completed so far.
Over the next week or so The Current will publish several articles disclosing the results of our investigations into some of these “skeletons.” The first of these will update readers about the conclusion of the legal proceedings brought by Jack Rosien, the first Integrity Commissioner, against the Township. This will be followed by stories focussing on ostensible conflicts of interest on the part of some members of Council in relation to changes to the 5 Year Capital Roads Plan. Mark Woermke will also set the record straight about inaccurate and misleading information published in the Leader interviews about the rise and fall of the most successful visitor centre in the county and why this conduct has created the risk of a downturn in tourism-related revenue in the community.
As was the case with some previous Current articles, these articles will no doubt provoke accusations fed into the community grapevine that it is all “fake news.” This is how Mayor Love and Councillors Peplinski and Maika justify, we understand, their lack of common courtesy in responding to any communication or request for information that The Current has directed to them. It is as if they don’t want us to exist. So far, there have been over 7,000 visits to The Current’s online Town Hall forum and Love, Peplinski and Maika have been given the same opportunity as other candidates to answer readers’ questions. Yet, not a single question has been answered by any of them. These three are being paid by ratepayers to act in a responsible manner as befits their offices. Such conduct suggests they are receiving our money under false pretences.
The irony of this behaviour is that the only item of fake news, properly so called, that has any connection with The Current was not published by us but by the Valley Gazette in its April 11 2018 edition, courtesy of Maika.
Everything The Current publishes has been subject to scrupulous investigation and can be corroborated by council minutes, correspondence and other verifiable sources. Before we published anything that constituted criticism of anyone, express or implied, we always provided an opportunity for them to give their own side of the story. Note as well that everyone has the opportunity of responding to every article we publish using the Comments section following it.