Behind the Scenes: Council Consideration of Don Maynard Park November 1, 2016

The Mississippi Mills Municipal Property Review Working Group is one of the Council committees whose meetings were independently found to be in consistent violation of the Closed Council meeting regulations set out in the Municipal Act. It is composed only of council and staff. Its meetings and decisions were taken in secret, even from some members of Council.

In the case of November 1, 2016 council committee discussions around the destruction and sale of Don Maynard Park and how to best frame it to the public, not a single elected representative of the Almonte Ward was present. The Almonte “place-holder” was the unelected Council Appointee, Amanda Pulker-Mok, a self-described new resident who had been selected by Council alone a few months earlier to replace Councillor Cameron. They ironically called this selection a “public” process.

Present at the improper November 1 committee meeting were Mayor McLaughlin, Councillor Ferguson (Pakenham), Councillor Watters (Ramsay), Councillor Edwards (Ramsay), Councillor Wilkinson (Ramsay), Council Appointee Pulker-Mok and staff Diane Smithson (CAO), Calvin Murphy (Recreation Manager) and Steve Sterling (Planner).

The minutes of the improper meeting, prepared by the CAO for public consumption, can be found here:

Municipal Property Review Working Group Minutes Nov 1 2016 1 pm

The Mayor did keep the others in the loop though, via an email. A Freedom of Information Request, initially denied, and a successful appeal brought out this gem.  See what our mayor thinks of involving the public here:

Email exchange FOI Nov 1 2016

Question: Why were no elected Almonte councillors on this committee? How is that representative or fair? Has the composition changed?

Question: If the public are not notified of these meetings, shouldn’t the other councillors – who were actually elected to represent the public – at least be informed of such important meetings, especially when they represent a ward where half the population resides and is affected?