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
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
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-
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
The next day, January 27th, a second column was
posted on the paper`s website. authored by the same
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
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
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
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
The Mayor made a public apology and stated that
it would not happen again.