Unless you were in attendance at Orangeville Council last night, you will have missed the sparks that flew before the start of the regular Council agenda.
There has been some controversy surrounding the closing of a local bar/restaurant/Orangeville establishment, Hogeys. Until a recent ‘tell-all’ article written by the Orangeville Citizen, Orangeville residents could only speculate what had happened to cause the Town of Orangeville to change the locks on Hogeys back in March 2016 denying the staff and owners access.
Recently, Mr. Gerry Hogenhout filed a lawsuit against the Town of Orangeville claiming not only for damages due to the loss of investment, but also for the destruction of his business – a business he had been building for 8 years. The issue started with an issue of arrears, in response to which Mr. Hogenhout is quoted in the Citizen’s article as stating “I had been negotiating a proposed new lease with Mayor Jeremy Williams for the past few months, and he had indicated I should not make a lump sum payment, as the 2015 arrears could possibly be worked into the new lease agreement.”
After an hour long closed meeting, Council opened with a very bold move. Deputy Mayor Warren Maycock started the meeting off with a motion that was brought forward during the closed session directing the Town legal counsel to file a defence on behalf of the Town denying the allegations of Hogeys and denying that Hogeys incurred damages as alleged.
The interesting part came as the second part to that motion which reads:
“And that a third party claim be advanced against Mayor Williams claiming over against him for any damages incurred by the Town based on unauthorized representation made to Mr. Hogenhout by Mayor Williams, such third party claim to be dismissed in the event that the claim of Hogeys Sports Bar Limited is dismissed.”
So lets summarize – If Hogeys wins their lawsuit against the Town, Mayor Williams will be held personally liable for representing the Town in negotiations that weren’t authorized…this could get interesting.
This motion passed unanimously. **I will note that Councillor Garisto was absent for tonight’s meeting (due to vacation) and Mayor Williams was absent for this vote**
In my humble opinions, between criminal investigations and now a potential civil lawsuit, Orangeville council sure could use some positive media coverage….stat! What do you think of all of this?
I will be summarizing the rest of the meeting and getting it out later this week – This part of the meeting came so quickly and was missed on TV by Rogers, that I didn’t want anyone to miss what was really going on at Town Hall last night!