‘Great exception’ taken

Dear Editor:

RE: We all have choices, Dec. 26.

I take great exception to the editorial relating to the Centre Wellington council meeting of Dec. 16.

Its tone of criticism, its implications that citizens who engage constitute a “mob”, its complete defense of the actions of some on council are absolutely over the top. Really, do you think you know our community?   

I wish to refer your readers to witness the council meeting online on the township website and make judgements for themselves.

Though the clerk had recently emailed Councillor Stephen Kitras that his motion will not be discussed until after the conventional 30-day interlude (ie: at the January meeting, thus allowing time for other councillors to get up to speed on the issue of the motion), suddenly Councillor Steven Van Leeuwen proposes that the matter be debated immediately.

Kitras then says he is awaiting the results of his inquiry with the Integrity Officer. Obviously these answers were expected before the January discussion was to take place and Kitras was presently constrained until he had the advice. However, the decision of three councillors, the mayor breaking the tie with his vote, decide the debate must take place immediately. This had every mark of a planned checkmate move.

We as citizens deserve to hear what Kitras has to say. Clearly it has been important enough for him to bring forth the motion that CAOs provide adequate information for councillors to make informed decisions. We are left wondering what was hidden and unsaid. Councillors Kitras and Kirk McElwain then leave the meeting, the motion is debated without them and quashed.    

  There appears to be a pre-decided strategy to evade enquiry into this matter. To witness another restriction, we see councillor Bob Foster asking for a delay in accepting the budget due to questions about the proposed increase in taxes. The same three councillors, plus the mayor, veto that.

Toward the end you can witness a diatribe by councillor Ian MacRae with implications of hoodlumism and bullying by councillors or citizens. This was disgraceful. There are citizens here who care enough to closely follow council, inform themselves of municipal laws, the Official Plan and policy and who demand transparency and adherence to the letter of the law. These are not a “mob” as you, the publisher, characterize them.

We do not need “faith” in our employed staff or our councillors, we need true transparency that inspires trust, welcomes scrutiny and is willing to listen. We do not want an homogenous council, but open debate of ideas and well informed if varying opinions.

Let us hear in open forum what councillors and citizen delegations have to say.

Beverley Cairns,