Resident requests OPP investigation following more verbal sparring by BLR Councillors

On October 14 Brudenell Lyndoch and Raglan (BLR) Council met to complete the meeting it had to adjourn on October 7 because of insufficient time. It soon appeared that there had been little cooling off in the intervening week on the part of some members of Council when the subject returned to the issue of compliance with the Township’s Procurement By-Law. Click HERE to read The Current’s report of the earlier meeting.

After Mayor Sheldon Keller again presented a Resolution for payment of the September Roads Accounts voucher, Councillor Trevor Lidtkie repeated his position that he would not approve it. He complained that he never sees invoices unless he makes a specific request. During the ensuing discussion, it was revealed that the disputed invoice, relating to the purchase of gravel, had already been paid. This prompted Lidtkie to say, “So going over these accounts, it really doesn’t matter whether we’ve got concerns or not?” Councillor Andrea Budarick demanded an explanation from staff saying, “If we are to approve the payments, to allow the payments to happen, but the payments have already happened, where is the check and balance?” This discussion set off more argument when Councillor Iris Kauffeldt accused Lidtkie and Budarick of changing their tune, saying “Well, isn’t this how it’s always been done? … They have been approved after the fact. Nothing has changed. You guys have been doing this for two years now, and now it’s a problem. So I can’t understand it…. when I came into office six years ago this is the way I understood it was done. It’s been done that way ever since.”

Budarick responded with, “So is it fair to say if something has been done wrong for ten years you just keep doing it wrong and it’s OK to do it wrong and not make waves?”

Budarick challenged Keller to confirm that he supported doing things in accordance with the by-law, to which he replied, “Absolutely.”

When Lidtkie provided Council with pricing from other suppliers to show that money could have been saved by sourcing the materials elsewhere, it was acknowledged that the costs fell under the terms of the Procurement By-Law where a minimum of two written quotes ought to have been obtained. This prompted a discussion as to whether BLR should attempt to claw back part of the payment to which Councillor John Rutledge said, “We have already got the services. I don’t think we’ve got an option but to pay it.”

A Resolution to approve the payment vouchers was then moved by Budarick who had requested a recorded vote. All members of Council voted against it and the Resolution failed. Eventually, Council passed an amended Resolution approving the payment vouchers, minus the amount for the invoice from KCK Aggregates Limited.

Rutledge then initiated a discussion about ensuring that staff were trained on all aspects of the Procurement By-Law during which Kauffeldt asked for information about the owners of KCK Aggregates Limited. The meeting then got personal, with Lidtkie saying about KCK, “His wife was a Keller, that’s all I know.” This prompted Budarick to ask Keller if he was related to the owner to which he replied, “No,” but continued. “Probably Trevor’s related to that family too. But … anyways I’m not.”

Police investigation requested

The Current has since received from a resident a copy of a “Request for Investigation” that was  delivered to the OPP Killaloe Detachment on October 16th. The request was based on submissions that an investigation be conducted pursuant to both (a) Criminal Code of Canada, S.122 Breach of Public Trust; and, (b) Criminal Code of Canada, S.123 Municipal Corruption. The request has been referred by OPP Killaloe to the OPP East Region.

Clerk/Treasurer resigns

Following the meeting, it was revealed that Michelle Mantifel had resigned from her position as Clerk/Treasurer to take up a similar position with the Township of North Algona Wilberforce with effect from November 10.

photo at top: OPP Killaloe Detachment

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