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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Editorials Citizen of the Year

by Leith R.A. Coghlin

I read with equal parts amusement and consternation that an area media outlet declared Central Elgin's new Mayor Sally Martyn as "Citizen of the Year."

But assessing someone objectively should include a thorough assessment of their record of actions. So for the perhaps unaware, I present my version of Sally Martyn's Top 10 Greatest Hits:

1. Was an educator yet routinely shows a pattern of disinterest toward citations, data, evidence, facts, and/or proof to inform her views or to persuade her otherwise.

2. Seeks the prohibition of signs on private property "because they're ugly," without offering any quantitative or qualitative evidence that they're hazards. Meanwhile, she's photographed in front of disproportionately large and discretionary signs on public buildings where they are mere feet away from one of the area's busiest routes.

3. Votes in favour of a controversial shoreline management plan at Catfish Creek Conservation Authority then proceeds to vote against the inclusion of its provisions into the county Official Plan as recommended by the conservation authority she chairs.

4. "I delete my (public records subject to retention by law) emails"

5. Votes in favour of an Integrity Commissioner for Central Elgin. When said Integrity Commissioner conducts an investigation involving a then-fellow council member she questions the methodology used. Votes in favour of dismissing the corrective action recommended by the Integrity Commissioner even though the investigation found the violation of Central Elgin's Code of Conduct was "beyond dispute."

6. Spends inordinate amounts of time highlighting and praising programs and activities both at council and at other local boards and agencies that have no relevance to the particular institutions' mandates and cost to taxpayers. Then proceeds to criticize provincial governments for "freezing funding," while she simultaneously approves of spending limited funds on non-required projects.

7. Routinely confuses "affordable housing," for "low-income housing," to the point that county staff needs to intervene and clarify the term due to her repeated misunderstanding.

8. Is anti-development. "We're seeing a lot of people come from Toronto and that could change the make up of Port Stanley…," yeah Sally, so what? This is Canada. People may move where they wish.

9. Rigorously demands lakeshore landowners be required to secure a permit and an unnecessary $500.00+ arborist report to cut down trees on slopes (even if dead). Rebuffed and then self-admits at county council that "maybe what we [Central Elgin] requested was too ‘prescriptive'"

10. Invents rules of order at meetings and doesn't yield even when pointed out that her interpretation(s) is/are incorrect.

If behaviour like that makes one Citizen of the Year, I'd suggest reconsideration of the qualifying criteria.

Leith R.A. Coghlin
Elgin County


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