Monday’s meeting started off with the ceremonial signing of the new Code of Conduct. As each council member signed, you could hear the harmonious sound of a new and fresh council where everyone gets along and treats each other with respect – oh, you should have been there – it was glorious – angels were singing as rainbows and unicorns filled council chambers……

………and then I woke up.

So, here’s what really happened – Monday’s Council Meeting did actually start off with the ceremonial signing of the new Code of Conduct (which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like it should be – a piece of paper acknowledging their ability to treat each other with mutual respect….you know, like adults do…) The signing of the code of conduct happened about 8 minutes before the bickering, yelling and eye-rolling started.

Clearly, this was the biggest waste of paper and ink that The Town of Orangeville has ever seen. And, if these shenanigans are to continue, someone is going to have to buy the Mayor a new gavel…cause I can’t see it lasting much longer if he is forced to continue banging it to regain order of Council.

It was shameful…and utterly embarrassing. You would think that one meeting could go by without anyone yelling at anyone…or anyone making ridiculous accusations. But perhaps that is too much for us to ask for – perhaps this will only happen when rainbows and unicorns do fill council chambers.

There were fights about whether Councillor Garisto should have actually left council chambers when he declared a conflict of interest or whether it was permissible for him to remain in his seat. Yup – who is sitting where, when. Sounds like a good reason for our elected officials to argue, right?! {insert sarcasm font here} Well, Deputy Mayor Maycock and Mayor Williams deemed that it was intact a “yell-worthy” topic….The Mayor even muttered “shame” under his breath to which Deputy Mayor replied loudly, “Shame? Shame on you. Shame on you.”

Code of Conduct, my a$$.

Formal Investigation into Mayor’s Spending

A new reporter for the Orangeville Citizen stepped up to the podium at Question Period and asked Mayor Williams “Are you being formally investigated by Peel Police?” to which the Mayor simply replied, “Yes I am.” His follow-up question was “Does the PSB think its appropriate that its fair to continue his role given the criminal investigation?” Mayor Williams replied that this would be a question better suited to the PSB.

**Sidenote – Mayor Williams posted to his Facebook page on Tuesday following the PSB meeting that he announced at Tuesday’s meeting that he will be temporarily stepping down as Chair of the PSB at the board’s request while the investigation continues. He will continue to serve on the Board as a member in the meantime. **

Backyard Burning

This has been a hot topic – pun intended – for quite some time now in Orangeville. As you may remember, a committee of Council was formed to look into the issue and discuss the potential need for a change in bylaws or perhaps even banning backyard wood burning all together.

The time has come residents of Orangeville – it is time for your voice to be heard. Although it was glossed over pretty quickly at council, they did announce that there will be a Public Meeting next Monday, May 16th at 7pm in the TD Room at Alder Street Arena.

Love it or hate it, this is your time to speak up – if you want your opinion to be considered, SHOW UP!!!!!!!

In my humble opinion, the current way that things are done works. The Orangeville Fire Department does an excellent job of issuing fire permits. Upon requesting the permit and paying the fee, the Fire Department sets up a time to do a home inspection. They inspect your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and then tour your yard. They inspect your chiminea or fire pit area, ensure that it is the proper distance from fences, decks, etc. They check your water source in the yard to ensure compliance and they inform and educate on how to burn safely i.e.: what can and can’t be burned. The issue with the backyard burning, in my opinion, is with the people who don’t follow the proper process and fail to take the time to educate themselves on safe practices. If you follow safe practices and communicate with your neighbours, you really shouldn’t run into any issues. I intend to be at Monday’s public meeting to ensure my voice is heard – I hope to see you all there too!!

The Final Hour

The last hour or so of the meetings are always full of drama. I don’t know why tempers are so hot after 9pm…perhaps past their bedtimes?

Councillor Garisto put forward 2 motions requesting that Dufferin County Council investigate the possibility of amalgamating some services…The Libraries as well as Fire Services. This was not warmly received by anyone on Council. Both motions failed after some very heated discussion including comments from Councillor Campbell “If we are moving our services to the County, it seems to me the very first step on a slippery slope of dissolving the Town of Orangeville. What would be the purpose of having a Town of Orangeville if all of our major services are going to the County? We may as well be a single-tier municipality. I will never support doing this.” Also, Deputy Mayor Maycock weighed in with thoughts that some of these bridges were already burned during the election with talks of amalgamation. “You can’t expect the lower tier municipalities to bend over backwards and take on for The Town of Orangeville.” Deputy Mayor Maycock also voiced his concerns that while these items had not yet been discussed with Orangeville Council and yet, at the last County Council meeting, members of County Council were asking him about this – because they had seen it on Social Media…posted by 2 members of Orangeville Council. Deputy Mayor was concerned that this behaviour does not promote a willingness to work cooperatively by member of County Council. Neither of these motions carried.

After losing his motion to increase the Transit Committee by one member (which he brought to Council against the Committee’s wishes), Councillor Garisto felt it necessary to make a statement to Council during new business to say “Everything that I seem to propose in this council seems to be shut down.” Councillor Garisto went on to imply that he is the only one on Council who is working to save money for the Town. “I would like to work with you, but you don’t seem to want to work with me.”

Don’t worry, Councillor Garisto…it’s not just you….nobody really seems to want to work with anyone. And this doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon.

Next Meetings

Don’t forget to attend the Public Meeting on Monday at 7pm for Backyard Burning and the next Council Meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 30th at 7pm.

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