Minto sticks with county choice for its meeting investigator

It looks like coun­cillors here are picking the same municipal meeting investigator as other Wellington County municipalities – in the hopes of keeping continuity.
The decision came during council’s final meeting for 2007, following a recommendation by Clerk Barb Wilson that Minto hire Norm Gamble be appointed for the role.
The appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2008.
Wilson told council that under revisions of the Muni­cipal Act, council had a number of options. She said remaining status quo would automatically default any requests for investigations to the Ontario Ombuds­man’s office. Her written comments highlighted other municipalities who are concerned that the Om­budsman is making sweeping generalizations about muni­cipalities on the basis of pre­sumption.
As a result, she wrote, “Using the Ontario Ombuds­man may not be in our best interest.”
Another option was for the municipality to proceed with the LAS service, which she con­sidered expensive compar­ed to the use of the Om­budsman, which is a free services.
For hiring LAS, in addition to a $600 deposit, the service cost is estimated to be $1,250 per day.
The third option, she said is to use Gamble, already ap­point­ed as Wellington County’s meeting investigator.
Gamble is a former county Chief Administrative Officer, and, “His costs are quite reasonable at $350 per day.” Wilson added the appointment was needed prior to the 2008 or any challenges would automatically default to the Ontario Ombudsman’s office. She also hoped Gamble’s appointment would add some continuity to the way issues are handled within Wellington Coun­ty.
Mayor David Anderson agreed. “It would be good to have uniformity on this. It would be better for us in the end.”