I couldn’t be more pleased to start this post off with some positive news! I am fortunate to be a part of a wonderfully diverse committee that was formed in September 2017 to organize Dufferin County’s very first celebration of Pride & Diversity, ‘Celebrate Your Awesome’. After many hurdles, I am so pleased to announce that it is OFFICIAL! Celebrate Your Awesome will be coming to Orangeville on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 beginning at 1pm and running until 11pm!
On Monday night, Council approved the closure of Mill St for the entire day – Councillors Bradley, Kidd and Garisto voted in support of the road closure and the only vote against was that of Mayor Williams. (Deputy Mayor Maycock along with Councillors Wilson and Campbell were absent for the meeting)
Pop over and ‘like’ the event’s Facebook page to keep up-to-date with the plans as they unfold! It’s going to be an AMAZING day – Hope to see you there!
Transit Logo Competition
There has been some controversy surrounding the contest to find a new logo for Orangeville Transit. A number of letters have been sent to Council from various Graphic Design organizations stating that this contest is not respecting the industry of design. As of Monday’s meeting, 10 submissions to the contest had already been received.
While I can understand to a degree what the concerns are for the graphic design organizations, in my humble opinion, this is a great opportunity for new people in this industry to showcase their talents! Just imagine how great it would be for a student in a graphic design program to win this…what a great addition it would be in their portfolio!
What do you think? Is this a fair contest?
Did the Campaign Period Start Early?
I know I have said this already in prior posts, but the amount of campaigning that is taking place inside Council Chambers is absolutely unacceptable. The nomination period doesn’t open until May 1st, but it has become clear that some are using their time at public meetings to toot their own horns about their “accomplishments” over the term. Council Chambers should be the place where actual business is occurring – but instead, items that require little discussion are taking far too much time as members use these opportunities to grand stand.
As an example, a discussion at Monday’s meeting in unfinished business about the flooding at Petro Canada on Townline resulted in a 30+ minute discussion before a motion was even made, during which Councillor Kidd felt it appropriate to share that HE was the only Councillor present the night of the flood.
Crossing some Lines?
Watching Monday’s meeting, I was extremely disappointed to hear Councillor Garisto make a number of inappropriate comments related to the abilities of Town staff members. It began by his questioning of the Town Clerk, Susan Greatrix, for not including an email in the public agenda….although that email was sent to all members of Council. When asked, Ms. Greatrix explained that she hadn’t received permission from the writer of the letter. Councillor Garisto then questioned whether or not she had attempted to get permission. While his question was a valid one, his approach was unfair to our clerk, who in my humble opinion does a fantastic job.
His disrespect of staff continued when he began to question the abilities of the Director of Public Works, Doug Jones along with his team in the public works department. “Usually I respect the staff, but when I read the email from Mr. Jones, he told the owners of Petro Canada that there was nothing the staff could do. I resent that.” Councillor Garisto stated in response to Mr. Jones’ report regarding the flooding on Townline. Councillor Bradley called a point of order to stop Councillor Garisto “Councillor Garisto is not here to be bashing our staff members. It is completely inappropriate.”
It seems that I was not the only one who noticed this behaviour…there were several posts about the meeting on social media where residents expressed concerns and I also received several emails and messages. One of the emails I received from a concerned resident stated:
“Regardless of the political positions on the issues, the personal attacks on town staff are irresponsible and unprofessional. Further, Garisto’s attack on the Director of Public Works implied that there is something that town staff can do about the flooding issue on Townline. This implication invites those that are impacted y the flooding to launch litigation against the Town of Orangeville for what he implies is their lack of response. I’m not sure what Garisto is expecting. The last time I checked, water runs down hill and if the property was purchased with the knowledge that it is within the flood plain, then the buyer should have a reasonable expectation that flooding will occur on the property.”
What do you think? Did Councillor Garisto cross a line with his attacks on Town Staff?
Next Council Meeting
The next regular meeting of Council is scheduled for Monday, May 7th, 2018 at 7pm