Resident assails Mono Council over water truck, noise bylaw

June 25, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Tabitha Wells – For a short period on Tuesday morning, Mono Council went from being a general council meeting into what could have easily been the setting for a reality TV show, slightly resembling some of the past year’s Toronto Council sessions featuring the Ford brothers.

Marc Darby, a Mono resident who decided to use the public question period to air his grievances with council members and the Noise Bylaw Committee, attempted to force Mayor Laura Ryan to delay scheduled delegations while questioning whether the council members knew their own job descriptions.

“I respectfully submit that this is highly important, regardless of any time schedule that council is claiming they need to meet,” said Mr. Darby. “I have some very serious concerns here, and I believe they have to progress and that the point of order override the requirement of this council to meet its predetermined schedule. I will ask all these questions, in order and you will answer them as we continue.”

The questioning started over Mr. Darby’s concern initially with a water truck that was requested by the Orangeville Agricultural Society for the Fall Fair last Labour Day weekend. The request, which is made to help limit dust in the fairgrounds during the fair, is a standard one that has been made for as long as the fair has been there.

While Mr. Darby would not reveal his concern surrounding the water truck, he was adamant that his concerns would be made clear once the history of the request was fully made public.

But it was his concerns with the Noise Bylaw Committee that led to the situation that faced council. Recently, the Noise Bylaw Committee drafted a document for recommended changes to the current Bylaw to be reviewed by council and the public.

He said the fact that the document was prepared without the ability of the public to put in their own input was unethical, unjust and proved that the subcommittee was not functioning in a manner that should be allowable in government.

“I believe that there is a conflict of interest going on here, and I will explain it to council,” said Mr. Darby.

“I am asking council to suspend all actions of the noise committee, and not to accept any documents from the noise committee, until this integrity issue has been dealt with.”

He added that council should be asking their integrity officer to look into the conduct of the subcommittee members. His allegations included that the members of the committee, including those from council, were under a conflict of interest with the Orangeville Agricultural Society to serve their own motives.

“You’re suggesting by your questions that we’re not following reputable and ethical process. If you have a charge, please make it, I don’t appreciate this at all.” said Councillor Fred Nix.

“Is this Council comfortable in saying that the Noise Committee acted ethically and without bias from the Orangeville Agricultural Society?” said Mr. Darby. “I do not believe that the committee has kept their relationship at an arm’s length, and there is a clear conflict of interest in this.”

The accusation was directed toward Councillor Elaine Capes, who sits on the Committee, and when Ms. Capes attempted to explain that the bylaws have nothing to do with the Orangeville Agricultural Society, he made it very clear he felt she was lying.

“I do not believe any part of that,” Mr. Darby said. “This council loves to sweep stuff under the carpet, and this is a prime example of that. I don’t find the responses received to be acceptable.”

Despite being asked several times by the Mayor to take his seat, and request a delegation for a future council meeting, Mr. Darby maintained that his concerns were far more serious than those of the other delegations and that he would not leave until all questions were answered.

Shortly after, he was warned that should he continue, OPP would be called to forcibly remove him. Mr. Darby agreed to take his seat only after members of council and the town staff were no longer answering him, at which point he requested that it be put on record that members of council and the town were uncooperative.

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