Oh how I wish that there was a day that I could write a post about something amazing coming to Orangeville as a result of something outstanding that happened at a Council meeting….but, today is not that day.
I am instead writing today to tell you about more drama.
A month ago (Aug 14th), there was a post from Mayor Jeremy Williams to his Facebook page (which has since been removed) requesting that residents email him at email@example.com with information regarding any damage they incurred as a result of the flooding this summer so that they could request disaster relief from the province.
Orangeville resident, Todd Taylor sent in correspondence to Council on August 17th highlighting some concerns with this post. While he was glad to see that the Town was seeking disaster relief for those affected, Todd was concerned about the Mayor’s use of his personal email address rather than the Town of Orangeville issued email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) as is required by procedural bylaw when dealing with Town business. (A screenshot of the Facebook post was provided by Mr. Taylor)
Mr. Taylor wasn’t the only one who noticed this Facebook post, you may recall an article posted by Chris Halliday in the Orangeville Banner on August 17th, 2017 also finding the entire situation quite odd.
Rather than simply admitting to the error of using his personal email for a post of this nature, the Mayor instead became defensive and deflected the accusations stating that Mr. Taylor was lying and that the document was modified. The Mayor stated that the post had 66 shares and claimed that “each share gets modified”. Mayor Williams told Mr. Taylor that he was inappropriate and said “This is a pattern that you have had when you pretended to be a reporter and you made stuff up and you twisted things.”
Why? Why not just admit that you made a mistake and posted the improper email address? Why make it such a huge deal? Why try to make one of your residents look bad rather than just taking responsibility for your actions?
What do you think? Was this an appropriate response? In my humble opinion, the intent behind the post was commendable – I am happy to hear that the Town is trying to get help for those who need it most. However, there are processes in place to streamline these things, and if they aren’t being respected, that is a problem! Worse than that though, in my opinion, is the way that Mr. Taylor was treated at Council.
Speaking of improper emails…
A concerned citizen launched a complaint with the integrity commissioner regarding Councillor Bradley’s improper use of a committee member’s email address when she sent out a mass email to a number of different committee members from various committees and didn’t use BCC to hide the email addresses.
In an extensive report from the integrity commissioner, it was found that Bradley did breach the code of conduct by sending this email but determined that no further disciplinary action be taken.
In other news, the integrity commissioner was also tasked to investigate a possible conflict of interest after a complaint was sent in regarding Councillor Wilson’s affiliation with the Police Service Board of the OPP in Wellington County. It was determined that Councillor Wilson was not in violation of any policies or the code of conduct.
NEXT COUNCIL MEETING
The next meeting of Council is scheduled for September 25th at 7pm inside Council Chambers. We are also fast approaching Budget time – it is scheduled to start mid-October. Stay tuned!