Township re-appoints its meeting inspector

Centre Wellington Council has re-appointed Norm Gamble as its meeting inspector.

Council passed the bylaw on Monday night.

Gamble holds that position with several Wellington County municipalities.

If a citizen has concerns that a municipal council has held an inappropriate meeting, that citizen can register a complaint with Gamble through the municipal office. The township has the forms on its website as well.

Gamble then investigates the complaint and provides a report within 30 days. His most recent work was in Mapleton Township, where he concluded council went beyond what was required to keep the public informed.

He charges a daily fee of $350 for anything over three hours and $175 for a half day anything less than three hours). That rate is charged only for such times that he is actively investigating a complaint, preparing, and presenting his report. He is also entitle to be reimbursed for other expenses  related to his duties, including food and hotel costs, and payment per kilometre – the same the municipality pays.

He also has an annual retainer of $200. The municipality under investigation pays his fees.

Council appointed him for the full term of office – four years.

Gamble said in a letter to council “This report is significantly shorter as a result of having no formal investigations undertaken during the year. It is my understanding this lack of activity is fairly common across the province. It is no doubt a combination of councils operating more carefully as well as the general pubic becoming more knowledgeable of the specific role of meeting investigators and investigations overall.

Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj said of Gamble, “He is very thorough. His experience is valuable. We hope not to use him.”