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'As a ratepayer I was appalled at how this unfolded'to the editor,
Posted May 16, 2018
I attended the Adjala Tosorontio council meeting Tuesday afternoon (a carryover from the night before which ran long) and was witness to the complete ineptitude of Mayor Mary Small Brett to deal with a simple matter of letting a tax paying citizen voice her view on an agenda item under the "Public Input" portion of Council Business.
Any township resident who attends a council meeting is permitted up to three minutes to sound off on whatever agenda item they wish, according to the procedural bylaw.
Resident Shelagh Finn arose to speak on an agenda item regarding a residence on Concession Road 2 in Adjala to which she complained the Township had not given the legal Notice required under the Municipal Act.
No sooner did she start to speak than the Township Planner, Jacquie Tschekalin, interjected, and advised Ms. Finn could not speak to this agenda item because it was subsequent to a previously held public hearing.
Rather than let Ms. Finn finish her three minute allotment, the Mayor chose to get into an argument with Ms. Finn on the issue of "Legal Notice" of a By-Law change.
Ms. Finn pointed out there was no physical signage on said property, no publication in the Alliston Herald and the only reference on the Township website referred to an address on Concession Rd 6 not Concession Rd 2. The Mayor did not make any effort to provide evidence to the contrary.
As tensions arose, and when Ms. Finn stated she intended to finish her presentation, the Mayor said she would call the OPP to remove Ms. Finn from Council Chambers. She then called on all councillors to leave the Chambers. All but councillor Meadows complied. It must be noted that Councillors Anderson and Pinto were not in attendance at this meeting for personal reasons.
On arrival, the OPP asked Ms. Finn to leave the building to interview her, to which she complied. In the interim Mayor Small Brett reconvened the meeting and declared the "Public Input" portion concluded, at which point Councillor Meadows had had enough and expressed his displeasure by leaving the meeting.
As a ratepayer I was appalled at how this unfolded. "Public Input" is just for that - letting the people speak - time for our politicians to 'Listen', not to interject, argue and call the police.
The true nature of a good leader is the ability to listen and resolve conflict, not to pick an argument, in this case a colossally stupid one.
I take it upon myself to apologize to Ms. Finn for the bullying she endured from our Mayor. It was also an affront to all our residents. Shame.