Here are some comments about items in the July 2, 2014 council agenda package:
Agenda item 8.1 BOWMAN03-2014 Friends of Sauble Delegation
On June 12, 2014 Friends of Sauble Beach requested a delegation to council to talk about the Sauble Beach Land Claim. Friends of Sauble wanted to present the facts, and then implore council not to make any settlement offers unless and until residents can be brought into the decision making process in a truly meaningful way.
The request for a delegation was denied, the Administrator citing a rule that matters related to litigation cannot be brought before council.
Fortunately that rule can be suspended by a two-thirds majority of council. Councillor Bowman’s motion in the July 2 agenda is to suspend the rule so as to allow Friends of Sauble Beach to present to council.
The motion will also be a test of how each council member feels about meaningful participation by the residents in a matter (the Sauble Land Claim) that is so critical to the residents. I will be taking careful notes during the council discussion, and I will record how each council member argues, and how each council member votes.
Agenda item 8.12 CLK56-2014 Policy-Use of Corporate Resources for Election Purposes
In the report and draft by-law the clerk provides rules for use of corporate resources (e.g. the town logo) for election purposes. The rules are in my opinion good advice.
The report also says that complaints about breaches can be submitted to the clerk. This too is OK.
Regarding enforcement, the report reads:
If after the policy is adopted a breach occurs, the town will hold the offending candidate personally and monetarily liable for breaches of the policy.
And under the title of “Enforcement”, the draft by-law reads:
“If a breach of this policy is confirmed, the candidate shall be required to personally reimburse the Town for any of the costs associated with the breach.”
Neither of these is OK.
The clerk has no law enforcement powers and the town is not authorized to give the clerk or the town such law enforcement powers. And the Clerk cannot give herself power to “confirm” a breach, or to make a finding of guilt or liability, or to “hold the offending candidate monetarily liable”, or to order a settlement of costs. That is all the jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies and courts.
The by-law must be rejected.
The clerk has indicated that an alternative to the draft by-law would be a “policy to candidates”. That is the route that should be taken.
The policy should make clear that the town may take legal action against those who improperly use corporate resources. It might also indicate that electors can complain to the courts about alleged breaches of the Municipal Elections Act.
Agenda item 8.15 (ADM48-2014 Extension Agreement for Amabel-Sauble Community School
This item I discussed in a separate commentary (4-20).
Agenda item 9.2 ADM46-2014 Legal Review of Operating Agreement for Amabel-Sauble Community School
I have no idea what this item is about. It is called a legal review but there is no legal view presented on anything. The operating agreement should be discussed under agenda item 8.15. There is currently no capital agreement. I don’t see why one is necessary. We have gone 19 years without one. But if both parties want a capital agreement then there is no reason not to pursue one.
In any case a capital agreement should be kept separate from the operating agreement.