The Stockwell Report E2-V3

THE STOCKWELL REPORT

Last week was a busy time for those residents that

follow the local political scene. It started with the Toronto

Star releasing an article that addressed the activities of the

Wasaga Council regarding the future of the Beach One area

and the proposed Downtown Core.

The article was built around the ongoing opposition to

the efforts of Council to move the future planning of the

area forward by two elected officials, namely Deputy

Mayor Biofolchi and Councilor Bray.

From reading the article it seems that the reporter

started with, what appears to be a visit to the area with one,

or two members of Council, followed by an interview with

the Mayor, and e-mails sent to the balance of Council,

requesting an interview on the matter.

In my specific case, I replied to the e-mail stating that

I would be available at my home over the Christmas break,

and supplied her with my cell number.

She responded saying that she would contact me after

Christmas, however I heard no further.

When the article was published, it was built around

quotes from the Deputy Mayor, Councilor Bray, the Mayor,

and Councilor Ego, as well as Alan Clegg, a regular

facebook contributor, and outspoken critic of Council. The

only other quote was from businessman Jack Prezio, who

commented on his year-round operation of Pedros, a

beachfront retail operation.

If you were keeping score, it wasn`t hard to figure out

that the entire article was heavily weighted towards the

negative.

On the following Tuesday, Council held their monthly

meeting and heard from Robert Swayze, the municipal

Integrity Commissioner, receiving his report " on

complaints filed by Andrew McNeil, Director of Economic

Development and Tourism against Nina Bifolchi, Deputy

Mayor."

His five page report covered three separate instances

where the Deputy Mayor publicly attacked Mr. McNeil on

his handling of matters under his purview.

At the time of this writing an on-line column,

written by Wasaga Sun reporter Ian Adams, was

posted on the newspaper's website January 26th ,

following the meeting in question. It basically covers

the written report submitted by the Commissioner, as

well as the written statement read by the Deputy-

Mayor.

If the reader did not attend the meeting, nor

watch it on the municipal website, they would come

away with the feeling that the Deputy-Mayor hadn't

done anything wrong.

I am not suggesting that the column was meant to

leave that impression, however, facts are facts, and the

fact is that the column only reports half of what took

place.

The next day, January 27th, a second column was

posted on the paper`s website. authored by the same

reporter.

This was a continuation of what took place at the

Thursday meeting, headed," Councilor pushes for

sanctions against Wasaga`s deputy mayor."

This column addressed the tail end of the January

24th meeting, with some members of Council giving

their thoughts on how Council should proceed in

dealing with the matter.

Unfortunately, the reporter didn`t address the

additional comments made by the Integrity

Commissioner, following the Deputy Mayor`s

statement, and prior to the comments of Council

members.

Following the reading of a prepared statement by

the Deputy Mayor, the Commissioner stated that of

the three instances that the Deputy Mayor had

criticized the staff member, his investigation found

that the Economical Development Officer`s actions

were well within his authority, and the " only reason

the Deputy Mayor brought them up in public was to

discredit the staff member, and that was wrong."

To verify the above, I would suggest that you go

to the Town website and review the entire

proceedings.

Councilor Bray entered the debate stating that the

Economical Development Officer had made three

errors, dealing with the three matters that the Deputy

Mayor had sighted. She went on to say that the Deputy

Mayor had not contravened the Code of Conduct.

In answering Councilor Bray the Integrity

Commissioner repeated that the E.D.O. had full

authority to do what he did and none of his actions

gave the Deputy Mayor reason to do what she did.

Councilor Smith took the floor and spoke of the

fact that the Deputy Mayor had no right in criticizing

the E.D.O. in public, in that staff can not defend

themselves against a member of Council.

She pointed out that at one time she served as a

member of staff and she had undergone the same type

of treatment and it is unfair.

Councilor Smith said that Council had thirty days

to deal with the matter and she believed that the

Deputy Mayor should face sanctions.

My comments on the subject were aimed at the

Deputy Mayor suggesting that she make a public

apology to the E.D.O. and bring the matter to a close.

She refused to do so.

It seems to me that the Deputy-Mayor, Councilor

Bray, and their supporters, as well as the Wasaga Sun,

have overlooked the fact that the Deputy Mayor went

out of her way to publicly embarrass a member of staff

and that deserves an apology.

She should swallow her pride, apologize, and

move on.

A few weeks ago Mayor Smith was taken to the

Integrity Commissioner by Councilor Bray regarding a

comment that he made during a radio interview.

The Commissioner released a public report,

pointing out the Mayor`s error, however, did not

suggest sanctions.

The Mayor made a public apology and stated that

it would not happen again.

Adult behavior.

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