For readers who may not have seen it, the editorial in this week’s Eganville Leader makes some salient points under the title Voter frustration. It says,
Whether it is the ever-testy North Algona Wilberforce or equally testy Madawaska Valley or the municipalities surrounding them, ratepayers are looking for transparency, communication and accountability from council. Ratepayers are nervous about things being done behind closed doors and want a council which listens to members of the community.
Underneath the editorial, the Leader publishes a letter entitled Rebuilding Council. In it, the correspondent from Whitewater says the following:
Now we have a situation where we’ve recently learned our township council deliberately concealed the fact that a financial arrangement had been made. This doesn’t pass the smell test. This is no “tempest in a teapot.” When a small community pays to satisfy a lawsuit it’s a big deal. Was the township insured to cover the lawsuit? We don’t know. There’s too much we don’t know. Perhaps the Ontario Privacy Commissioner could help getting the details for us but with time running short the election will be over before we find out.
We suspect that many MV residents will sympathize with this correspondent. As we reported in our article Township settles Rosien litigation – questions remain because confidentiality terms were imposed, MV residents are also being deprived of transparency and accountability. For all anybody knows, Rosien may not have been paid one cent but the gossips will speculate about the “consequences and costs.” Members of the public may draw conclusions about the amounts involved, or other terms, that put the municipality in a worse light than it possibly deserves. Full transparency in these situations avoids this.
Editor’s note: This article was updated to show that the correspondent referred to is from Whitewater, not Madawaska Valley.