Two moves by Orangeville Council may change how politics works

June 9, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Two motions passed by Orangeville Council at its last meeting may change the way politics works in Orangeville, while leaving some questions unanswered.

The motions involved Council email addresses and will prohibit councillors from negotiating with any third party on behalf of the Town.

Councillor Don Kidd read aloud his motion that all emails sent and received by members of council in their capacity as members of Orangeville Council should be transmitted through approved email accounts.

He explained that he wanted to ensure that staff and public should only be communicating via each councillor’s officially supplied email account.

The motion is interesting because only one member of council does not use the official town-supplied email address.

Instead, Mayor Jeremy Williams shows only his personal email on the town website:

In contrast, members of the public can reach Deputy Mayor Warren Maycock at and all other members of council by similar addresses involving their first initial, name and

The Mayor readily admitted that he is the only one not in compliance, and explained that he felt there was “poor security on the Accounts. I did not feel comfortable using this. In addition, there were technical issues.”

Always one to cut to the nitty gritty, Councillor Scott Wilson asked simply: “Why do we need this?”

Councillor Kidd defended his motion by citing the controversy over Hillary Clinton’s email use while the presidential candidate was U.S. secretary of state. “Based on the situation with her, we should support this motion. It is very easy for all if emails went through the Town’s server. This is a very good motion.”

Acting CAO Ed Brennan advised that the “Code of Conduct states that Orangeville should do this.”

The motion passed. All council members agreed to be in compliance with its requirement by Labour Day.

Councillor Kidd then introduced a second motion prohibiting members of council from purporting to represent the town by virtue of their status as a member of council. The motion stated that individual members of council are prohibited from negotiating on behalf of the town with any individual, corporation or other body, except with the prior express approval of council authorized by resolution or bylaw.

Mayor Williams supported the idea. Councillor Bradley also spoke positively about supporting the motion.

The fact that Councillor Kidd felt he had to put forth this motion suggests there may have been problems enforcing this rule in the past or even the present.

Asked what prompted him to bring the motion, Councillor Kidd refused to answer. As someone covering Council, I found this quite odd, as Councillor Kidd is one of the most approachable councillors.

Of note, an in-camera session of Council followed the public council session. On the agenda that could be considered a rationale for Mr. Kidd’s resolution were two items that may be considered a negotiation. One was the selling of land by the municipality. Speculation regarding what this could be include the Humber lands and industrial land on Centennial Road. The other referred to labour relations or employee negotiations. Speculation about what this might include current contract negotiations with the Orangeville Police.

Written by Todd Taylor

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