Why didn’t the new 2015 Springwater Township council fire the old CAO and Clerk and change law firms?

May 16, 2017

In Oct 2014, (l) Mayor Bill French and Deputy Mayor Don Allen were elected to change the direction of Springwater Township.

To, specifically, try as much as possible to defeat the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

What new experts have they relied on?

Robert Brindley

John Daly

They kept on Chief Administrator Officer Robert Brindley and Clerk John Daly.

And they then stayed the course even further by keeping Mr. Barnet H. Kussner of WeirFoulds LLP as counsel for the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

 


When is Springwater Township planning to demolish or “decommission” the Midhurst Community Centre?

April 8, 2016

Sometimes it helps to ask politicians, in writing, important questions.

Springwater Council Web

(l) Don Allen, Perry Ritchie, Katy Austin, Bill French, Sandy McConkey, Jennifer Coughlin, Jack Hanna

1. Email from author to Midhurst ward councillor (Mr. Jack Hanna), Township of Springwater

FROM: Les Stewart
TO: Jack Hanna <jack.hanna@springwater.ca>
CC: Bill French <Bill.French@springwater.ca>
DATE: 24 March 2016 at 11:31
SUBJECT: Midhurst Sports and Wellness Centre proposal

Mr. Jack Hanna
Councillor Ward 5
Township of Springwater

Mr. Hanna,

I would appreciate an update on the Township’s evaluation of this proposal.

I would also like to have an opportunity for a meeting so that I can make sure my facts are correct about how this proposal will affect the Midhurst Community Centre at 74 Doran Road, Midhurst.

Regards,

Les Stewart

2. Response from Mayor French

FROM: Bill French

TO: Les Stewart, Jack Hanna

CC: Ron Belcourt <Ron.Belcourt@springwater.ca>, (Director of Recreation, Parks & Properties)

Robert Brindley <Robert.Brindley@springwater.ca> (Chief Administrative Officer)

DATE: 24 March 2016 at 11:51

Les:
It was referred to staff for feedback. It will not be reviewed until we finalize our Master Recreation Plan which will not be complete until later this year.
Before the advancement of any idea or concept, it would be subject to rigorous review and public input. But at the same time we commend people that have ideas that try to enhance our various communities.
Appreciate your interest.

Best Regards

Bill

Bill French
Mayor
Township of Springwater
2231 Nursery Road
Minesing, ON L0L 1Y2
P 705-728-4784 ext. 2040
F 705-728-6957
C 705-718-7031 or
416-587-7030

 

3. Reply by author

FROM:: Les Stewart
TO: Bill French
CC: Jack Hanna, Ron Belcourt, Robert Brindley
DATE: 24 March 2016 at 12:05

Mayor French,

Thank you for the update.

I take from this that the proposal, which called for demolishing the Midhurst Community Hall by fall 2016, will not be happening.

I have attached a current Springwater News article by Ruth Byers.  She notes Midhurst and many township residents had worked very hard to preserve 164 years of continuous civic building presence. It may be of interest to the Corporation that the Midhurst United, St. Paul’s Anglican and Midhurst Baptist churchs rented the Doran Road facilities while their congregations struggled, successfully, to construct their own buildings in our community.

Considering the season, it’s nice that the current church congregation renting (Old Apostolic Lutheran Church) won’t become homeless by this administration.

At least for now, eh?

Regards, Les

4. Mr. Jack Hanna comments.

FROM: Jack Hanna
TO: Bill French, Les Stewart
CC: Ron Belcourt, Robert Brindley
DATE: 24 March 2016 at 16:39

Mr Les Stewart
Further to the response from Mayor French you will note in the Draft Recreation Master Plan a recommendation to “decommission the Midhurst Community Centre” my objection to this is part of the public record.

Regards,
Jack Hanna
Councillor Ward 5

Meeting asked for….meeting…

Therefore, the French administration, staff & councillors seems to be pleased with the accuracy of the traditional and social media coverage.

Posted also on SpringwaterParkcc.org.


What legal duty of care does Springwater Township CAO Robert Brindley have to the citizens of Springwater Township?

July 6, 2014

Virtually none.

Robert Brindley Springwater Township CAO

His job as Chief Administrative Officer is to implement the will corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Mayor Linda Collins.

If a breach of duty exists, it rests on the CEO and the elected officials who passed the motion (see Bill French on AWARE Simcoe: A dark day for Springwater). Oddly if they are so sure of themselves, not one of the current elected officials has registered as a candidate in this fall’s municipal election. Mr. French does not overstate the imminent danger to our beautiful rural “community of communities”.

Not Within Mr. Brindley’s Job Description: sky-high future property taxes, continued bullying by developers, unprecedented use of debt financing which will be used to trigger a “useful crisis” (goal: Barrie annexation), and destruction of the Minesing Wetlands. He does the television interviews and makes very, very strong and breathtakingly broad statements because (presumably) he was told to do so the current council leadership.

My Promise (no Golden parachutes): If elected as deputy mayor in the fall, I would not interfere with any senior staff”s decision to leave for greener pastures. Of course if there are contracts in place which pay the exiting executives big $ for little or no value to the Corporation, I may have to write about that so as to assign more accurately everyone’s reputation for accountability, transparency, and “truthiness”.

I support the future provincial investigation (judicial enquiry, ON Ombudsman, etc.) into the events leading up to the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

Posted on voteLesStewart.ca.


Are Springwater Township Council members & staff competently managing their own developer-originated, litigation-derived contingent liabilities?

March 18, 2014

Every corporation must disclose and protect against material risks and executives must manage and disclose something called contingent liability.

SLAPPs ON

From their initial response, this does not appear to be happening by the Corporation of the Township of Springwater

Request for Information
from: Les Stewart les.j.stewart@gmail.com

to: Mayor Linda Collins <linda.collins@springwater.ca>
cc: Deputy Mayor Dan McLean <dan.mclean@springwater.ca>,
Jack Hanna <jack.hanna@springwater.ca>,
Perry Ritchie <perry.ritchie@springwater.ca>,
Dan Clement <dan.clement@springwater.ca>,
Sandy McConkey <sandy.mcconkey@springwater.ca>,
John Daly <John.Daly@springwater.ca>
date: 18 March 2014 09:10
subject: Contingent Liability provision: Litigation risk to Corporatino involving in the Midhurst Secondary Plan

Without Prejudice but Not Confidential

Mayor Linda Collins
Corporation of the Township of Springwater
Minesing, Ontario

Mayor Collins,

This is a follow-up from my verbal question at the March 17, 2014 general council meeting.

From their response, it is my conclusion that your senior staff will not be booking any financial liability whatsoever on their 2013 or 2014 audited financial statements having to do with this controversial, unprecedented activity by corporations that are on the public record as being extremely litigation-prone to those that do not yield unconditionally to their will.

Q1: Will you be instructing your senior staff to investigate and report back to Council in open session the range of potential financial loss(es) that may accrue to the Corporation of the Township of Springwater having to do with the initial cost of defence and potential final claim (trial and appeal) of a lawsuit(s) by a single or multiple parties?

A yes or no answer would be be appreciated, please. Other questions may arise from your answer or non-answer.

It is my understanding, that you, Council members, and senior staff have a professional and personal fiduciary duty to protect the Corporation from harm by acting in a commercially reasonably, fiscally prudent manner to protect future taxpayers’ interests.

I reserve distribution and publication rights to this document and unreservedly offer the same to the Corporation and individual members of Council. Clerk Daly; please formally record this correspondence and acknowledge such to me.

Regards,

Mr. Les Stewart MBA
1201 Bayfield Street North
Midhurst ON L0L 1X1
705 737-4635 Tel
705 627-2242 Cell


Is Shame-humiliation a professional treatment of a taxpayer during a Springwater Township budget meeting?

March 13, 2014

I did not expect to see a fellow citizen bullied and publicly shamed in a municipal Council meeting.

Springwater News, March 15th article Two Simple Words (click here for pdf copy):

…To my surprise a staff member’s burst of an angry response, to my distaste, became a threeway use of “outside voices”, the third party being the mayor, when the feeling of being bullied and cornered brought out the worst in me. For that I am sorry.

At the next coming meeting, I intend to verbally apologize to all council members plus I took the time to write each individual person on council a hand-written note of an apology. My slate will be clean and everyone, I hope, will feel better, with the grave exception of this lowly soul who did not get one in return. I feel I also deserve an apology for the mismanagement of the situation. A simple apology would have aided in making me feel the same as my apology made those two feel. I did this all behind closed doors with an appointment that I made to rectify this unfortunate position my mouth caused.

So maybe I did not deserve an apology but did I deserve for that staff member to abruptly shove his chair, leave the meeting and the office and ask the clerk to take his place at the table and leave me sitting in the office?

When I left the meeting and returned home, I thought it all over again, thinking to myself, “Was I wrong in asking someone on staff to share the blame alongside me. How can I be the only one not deserving of an “I’m sorry”? Am I less of a person than the one who bolted out of the room? Did I not deserve to be heard? I did expect more from a person who receives a pay cheque from my taxes…

The Compass of Shame, Dr. Donald Nathanson, Affect theory

In my opinion, this citizen, has dealt with this unprovoked shame-humiliation attack in an appropriate manner.


Springwater Township’s Budget 2014: On auto pilot for passing on Feb 25th or a sprawling disaster?

February 13, 2014

Who the current administration serves (elected and senior staff) is on clear display during Springwater Township’s annual budget process.

budget 2014 strategic3

Linda Collins Robert Brindley Brent Spagnol

Brent Spagnol, Mayor Linda Collins and CAO Robert Brindley

The CAO senior staff recommend a budget. They serve at the pleasure of the CEO (mayor) as defined by provincial law.

The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and councillors create a strategic plan that is the dominates everyone’s actions to all legitimate stakeholders. Since the control of $ by elected officials is a fundamental democratic function, each passing council must ask the tough questions to ensure our $ are spent wisely and not squandered in these most of uncertain times.  The minimum they can do is to do no harm: don’t poison the fiscal well for the next legislators (huge debt, no reserves, etc) mandate. (Municipal election in 10 months. Disclosure.) Springwater Township is a creature of the provincial government.

A Top/Down Hierarchy:  Province of Ontario (Premier and Ministries)– Mayor and Council — Citizens/Voters/Taxpayers — Senior Staff  — Employees  (l to r)

In senior staff’s most recent 183 of 458 pages (so far) of document, February 10th – Draft 2014 Consolidated Budget, page 7 it states:

Council’s Strategic Plan (2012 – 2014)
Vision: To actively promote Springwater Township as a municipality of unique communities with opportunities to
cultivate, grow and prosper.
Mission: To provide accountable representation and maximize efficiencies.
Values: Accountability, Approachability, Integrity, Respect and Responsiveness

While it maybe difficult for you to know, I would encourage you to attend the budget the meetings. The next one is February 18th at 1 pm on Nursery Road. I assume it is open but I haven’t heard back from my request for information from Mayor Collins. again, lol

If you can’t make it, ask the following people that have been their in your place:

  • Katy Austin,
  • Sandy Buxton, President, Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, MRA
  • Bill French,
  • Barb Kutcher, Community Organizer, MRA,
  • Kevin Newman, Logistics Chair, MRA,
  • Ann Spence, and
  • others I missed (sorry…will edit).

These are the ones that I knew in the crowd but please, identify yourselves the next time you see me at Council. I’m the one with the white bear pin. 😉

Without great information sharing, How can we assign an appropriate reputation to our elected and non-elected officials? Remember: Sunlight is the best Disinfectant.

Accountability, Approachability, Integrity, Respect and Responsiveness

Very transparent.

Posted on voteLesStewart.ca and iLoveMidhurst.ca.


Irreversible, unprecedented sprawl is not dictated by former Doran Road farmers or developers in Springwater township.

April 19, 2012

If you heat your home with wood and you’re cold, one strategy is to chop up your furniture.


Responsible for the future development in Midhurst, from left to right, Brent Spagnol, manager of planning, Springwater Township Mayor Linda Collins and CAO Robert Brindley pose in front of the new township offices in Springwater.

Today’s Barrie Examiner; Growing attraction: Springwater Township officials say plan for massive growth in Midhurst made in good faith by Cheryl Browne. Word pdf

Mayor Collins:

“We believe growth should be planned and developed by council and not dictated by the developers,” said Mayor Linda Collins.

“Development doesn’t just happen. Developers would just buy the best land with the best vistas and the best drainage and there’d be no input by the township.

“We made the Midhurst Secondary Plan in good faith, in that we’d mitigated the concerns the residents were raising, knowing we need to preserve the culture of Midhurst.”

Good faith is a legal term and irrelevant to the public policy discussion in April 2012. It has some use as a distraction and excuse. Why not just start up with parroting that it’s a “Done Deal” again?

With new information, Council is statutorily bound to do the peoples’ will and change their Official Plan to preclude the implementation of the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

The only question is: knowing what they know now,  what will they do (not talk) about it.


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