WITHOUT PREJUDICE: Mayor Lovshin: Can you please define "minor" for us?

The exclusive interview with Mayor Lovshin as reported by Northumberland Today on May 2nd cannot go without comment from the Citizen's Council of Hamilton Township (CCHT).

The interview was in relation to a report by Amberley Gavel of the investigation into past conduct of the Mayor and Council. The report conclusions state in part;

"Amberley Gavel has concluded that Council for Hamilton Township breached the open meetings requirements of the Municipal Act and the provisions of the Township's Procedural By-law when meeting in Closed Session under section 239 of the Municipal Act on March 12, 2015, specifically when it continued to meet in the absence of the Acting Clerk and failed to properly allow for a record of the full proceedings of the Closed Session." (Amberley Gavel report here).

In the interview, the Mayor reportedly describes the results of the investigation as "minor infractions", and astonishingly states, "I wouldn't have done them any differently".

The Municipal Act is the main piece of Provincial legislation governing the creation, administration and government of municipalities in Ontario, with Section 239 providing one of the elements of a transparent local government. The Procedural By-law is the Township's own document outlining how they will conduct themselves.

The Mayor acknowledges the infractions, but fails to accept responsibility or indicate that he and Council will embrace the recommendations in the interest of enhancing openness and transparency.

In fact, the comments lead one to question that if the Mayor acknowledges breaking the rules, and is willing to do it again, what other rules have and/or will be broken?

The Municipal Act has very limited penalties associated with failing to comply with the legislation, an aspect that is part of the debate during its current review and update.
That said the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (governing body) should not turn a blind eye to this blatant disregard of the rules.

The investigation was launched as a result of the termination of the Director of Public Works and Infrastructure; Doug Thompson who has stated that he intends to take legal action against the Township as a result of these findings.

Should Mr. Thompson be successful in these proceedings as a result of the way things were mishandled by Mayor Lovshin (as chair) and the rest of Council, the RATEPAYERS of Hamilton Township have a number of options they could pursue, the least of which would be on election day.

It is our opinion that the report underscores the lack of "openness and transparency" with this Council, the very concerns that the Citizen's Council will continue to work to fight for.