Award-Worthy Accessibility in Orangeville

Congratulations to Councillor Gail Campbell on being presented with the AODA’s (Accessibility For Ontarians with Disabilities Act) 10th Anniversary Champion Award. This provincial award recognizes Councillor Campbell’s achievements (and persistence) in making the Town of Orangeville a champion in accessibility across the Province of Ontario. In my humble opinion, I couldn’t think of a more deserving recipient!! Way to go Councillor Campbell and thank you for all that you do to make Orangeville a better place!!

Taxi Committee Applications

The deadline has come and gone for applications for the new committee that has been formed to deal with the Taxi Bylaws in the Town of Orangeville and more applications than positions were received. The notice for this committee application process was posted on The Town of Orangeville website as well as in The Orangeville Citizen on the Town Page.

Ross Taylor spoke up at Monday’s council meeting as a representative from the taxi companies stating that they had been checking the Orangeville Banner for the posting, unaware that the Town had moved all of its public notices to the Orangeville Citizen last year. Mr. Taylor was asking that Council reopen the application process to allow other taxi drivers to apply.

According to Mayor Williams, there was also some issues with the application submission process on the Town’s website and as such, he was happy to reopen the application process and set a new deadline. Councillor Bradley disagreed stating that this was a dangerous precedent to set. The motion to reopen the application process carried and as such, applications can be submitted until December 31st, 2015.

Finally a Code of Conduct??

As you may remember from last year, the topic of a Code of Conduct came up. During last years council meeting on December 15th, 2014, a motion was brought forward to implement a code of conduct for Council…this motion failed with Mayor Williams, and Councillors Garisto and Kidd voting against while Deputy Mayor Maycock, and Councillors Bradley and Wilson voted in support of this motion…(Councillor Campbell was absent for this meeting).

Well, at Monday’s meeting, Councillor Campbell put forward a motion to have staff bring back a draft of a possible Code of Conduct that could be implemented back to council by March 2016. This motion carried unanimously – and in my humble opinion, it is long overdue!

New Business brings new drama

Perhaps if there were a code of conduct, the next part of the meeting could have been avoided! Under the items of new business, Councillor Kidd was very vocal voicing his disdain about the manner in which Mayor Williams conducted himself when giving an interview to an Orangeville Banner reporter recently in regards to the recent decision of council to leave sidewalk clearing as is. Councillor Kidd and the Snow Clearing Committee have stated that the cost per resident for sidewalk clearing is around $35 per year while the Mayor was quoted in the Banner stating the cost is closer to $90. “As a leader in the community you should not go public with incorrect information.” said Councillor Kidd who was referring to the different ways of possibly calculating this result stating that the $35 per household number was a number given to him by Town Staff.

It really bothers me when the Mayor after council passes something, goes to the media and does a full page story on this. How much information did you supply the committee? You were never at a meeting.” Councillor Kidd went on to say, “The committee put a lot of time into this and staff worked hard on this and for you to go to The Banner the way you did is shameful.”

Mayor Williams simply replied by stating “I am not responsible for what the paper publishes or does not publish. Thank God we have a free media who can print whatever they want anywhere they want…that’s what free media is. And I can almost guarantee you that because of the words exchanged tonight, you probably will see more items in the paper over this. Was that my fault or your fault for bringing it up? I don’t know – I guess it’s like the $90 version vs the $35 version – there is a different way of looking at it.”

The verbal exchange between Councillor Kidd and Mayor Williams stopped there, however what you couldn’t see unless you were inside Council Chambers, was Councillor Kidd leaning over to the Orangeville Banner reporter and getting visibly upset in their exchange. This carried on through the remainder of the meeting – I wish I could hear what he was saying to the reporter…but regardless of what his words were, the fact that he carried this on throughout the remainder of the meeting was unprofessional and inappropriate, in my humble opinion.

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