BLR Council unhappy with Integrity Commissioner’s explanation for her fees

At the January 22 meeting of Brudenell Lyndoch & Raglan (BLR) Council, members discussed the response received from Integrity Commissioner Peggy Young-Lovelace of Expertise for Municipalities (E4M) for an explanation of the size of her account following an investigation she carried out last year. As reported by The Current at the time, Young-Lovelace carried out what she described as a “preliminary review” which resulted in an eleven-page report. Click HERE to read. In that report, she said she did not have jurisdiction to deal with the complaints because they were made against Township employees and not members of Council.

The discrimination complaints investigated by E4M are also, as noted by Young-Lovelace in her report, the subject of ongoing court proceedings. Her review cost BLR taxpayers $4,460 for E4M’s services.

The Township asked for an explanation for the size of the account which resulted in an email from Young-Lovelace to Clerk Michelle Mantifel on January 20. The contents of that email were not well received by members of Council. In it, Young-Lovelace said, “It has not been our practice to provide specific time detail of activities carried out.” Referring to “our consultants” she went on to say, “To redact the information is time-consuming and creates additional cost.”

In response Councillor Trevor Lidkie remarked, “I’m a poor reader and don’t interpret things properly but when somebody tells you that to explain their bill is going to cost you more money? So if you do a job for somebody it’s just $5,000 for an inspection, don’t ask her to give you a detailed report on it or it’ll cost you more money.” This caused Councillor John Rutledge to comment, “The whole thing’s a crock.” To which Lidkie answered, “Exactly. And as far as I’m concerned, don’t have her back – for anything. That’s baloney.”

Councillor Andrea Budarick referred to the fact that the complaint was against employees, and not members of Council, saying, “Because in this particular case where she said in her report that, you know, investigating employees is not part of her jurisdiction but then to go on for several pages about the complaint against employees.” Later in the discussion, Councillor Budarick pointed out that, “I mean we’re not talking that we’re splitting apart 30 minutes. We’re splitting apart 36 hours – that’s a full week’s work for most people. And it’s unique that she brings up the issue of transparency and we can’t seem to get our bill questions answered.”

Council considered whether under the terms of the contract with E4M someone else could be hired as an Integrity Commissioner in their place. The Clerk was asked to produce the contract with E4M at the next meeting and was also asked to find out in the meantime what E4M would charge to provide a more detailed breakdown of its bill.

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: BLR Councillor concerned about bias following Integrity Commissioner’s investigation | Madawaska Valley Current

  2. Pingback: BLR discusses Integrity Commissioner bill and Official Plan | Madawaska Valley Current

  3. Alecia O'Brien

    Thank you for reporting the facts and for your unbias approach to journalism. Please come out to our upcoming Township meeting to provide a more accurate picture or our municipal politics; Wednesday, February 5th at 7 pm. I look forward to seeing you there and reading the subsequent article.

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