At the Central Elgin Council Meeting held September 11th, 2017 under Correspondence
(for Council's Information) a report from the Integrity Commissioner regarding a
complaint made by a person that came as a delegation before Council at a Central
Elgin Council Meeting on June 26th, 2017. This incident brings into question the
Code of Conduct that Council and staff must follow when dealing with the public.
It would seem that bringing in the Integrity Commissioner to deal with a complaint
made by the public is a complicated, costly, and just system to properly address
incidents relating to the Code of Conduct that Council and staff must follow.
Councillor McNeil was the only one to comment on the Complaint Report saying that
it doesn't happen very often, only once in my seven years on Council with somebody
actually going through the process making a complaint. I think that we are a much
more effective Council because of the Code of Conduct and anybody should have the
ability to question the activities that occur, and by having a independent third
party like Mr. Maddox sees it in our favour.
However, Councillor McNeil did not mention any actions that would be taken from
the recommendations in the Integrity Commissioner Complaint Report. After reading
this report I found that the Integrity Commissioner's Report clearly states " I believe
that kind of dialogue does not live up to the standards outlined in your Code of
Conduct - while I don't believe it to constitute harassment it is clearly inappropriate
and does not serve the interest and business decorum of the Council chamber. An
apology may well be in order.
I believe it would be helpful for all members to review and understand the commitment
that your Code of Conduct provides in establishing a public trust that is one of
the cornerstones to healthy democracy.
I can recommend external resources to provide guidance in this regard if you wish."
After being a witness to this whole ordeal, it seems that we have a Code of Conduct
that gets followed when convenient, and when not, an apology may well be too much
to ask for.