NewsNow E-Edition February 13 2020

Page 1

> Call goes out for new Smithville Christmas parade volunteers /Pg 3 > Lincoln eyes internal ban on single-use plastics Pg 5 > West LIncoln review repurpose of former school sites Pg 8 > Fridays in February resets for Feb. 14 Pg 9 Thursday, February 13, 2020 Vol. 8 Issue 42

www.wn3.ca 100% Niagara owned & operated.

Proudly serving Grimsby, Lincoln, West Lincoln & Winona

Circ: 26,529

‘Grimsby Five’ stick together With the return of one councillor from vacation, Grimsby councillors show up at second special meeting to reinstate & issue apology to CAO By Mike Williscraft NewsNow After five Grimsby councillors were no-shows at a special meeting of council called last week, all were in attendance Monday night to recall the chief administrative officer after he was put on administrative leave last Tuesday, Feb. 4. Mayor Jeff Jordan said last week he acted on the advice from two lawyers – one with an employment law expert and the other with expertise in municipal government - when he placed CAO Harry Schlange on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into complaints filed against him. Later that same day, he called an emergency meeting of council for the following day, Feb. 5. Most members of council confirmed their attendance with clerk Sarah Kim, except Coun. Kevin Ritchie, who was on vacation and did not respond. Ritchie had not informed clerk he would be away. However, when council gathered later that evening for the meeting, only Jordan, showed up along with Coun. Dorothy Bothwell, Coun. Reg Freake and Coun. Lianne Vardy. Coun. Randy Vaine, Coun. Dave Kadwell, Coun. Dave Sharpe and Coun. John Dunstall did not show up. The meeting was called as five members of council are needed to form a quorum and later in the week a second special meeting was called for Monday. Vaine said he is studying for a Master’s Degree and forgot he had a class. Kadwell said he “reconsidered” after realizing Ritchie was away and noting he thought it im-

Motion approved by Grimsby Council in 5-4 vote: “Whereas the administrative leave imposed on Tuesday, Feb 4, 2020 was not a decision of Council; And whereas the Mayor acted without consulting Council; And whereas Council confirms that CAO Harry Schlange was not being investigated nor is he being accused of any misconduct; Therefore be it resolved that Council issue a formal apology to CAO Harry Schlange. And be it resolved, that CAO Harry Schlange resumes his responsibilities as CAO as of Tuesday, February 11, 2020. And be it further resolved that Council appoint the Town Clerk to hire a third party, to investigate any allegations that may arise from this matter” Moved by Coun. Dave Sharpe Seconded by Coun. Kevin Ritchie portant all members of council be in attendance to deal with this issue. Monday night, council dealt with the matter in closed session, expelling the gallery to the board room at the Peach King Centre to ensure nothing could be heard or seen from the confidential discussion through the clear glass walls of the council chamber. The only comment before the closed portion came when Dunstall took the unusual step to confirm what would be covered in closed session. “Will we be discussing the email that we received last Tuesday?”

Dunstall asked. “We will be discussing several things under closed session,” Jordan confirmed. Dunstall was referring to an email sent widely last week to Niagara Region officials, Town of Grimsby officials and some members of the media. The email, which outlined several alleged and unsubstantiated claims, chastised council for not taking with regard to complaints filed with the Town of Grimsby. No contact information, other than the email address, for the sender was included.

When council rose from closed session, those in the board room were notified they could return to town hall for the open portion of the meeting. Council resumed after nearly two hours of in camera debate for a five minute open portion long enough to pass a motion moved by Sharpe, seconded by Ritchie, which read: “Whereas the administrative leave imposed on Tuesday, Feb 4, 2020 was not a decision of Council; And whereas the Mayor acted without consulting Council; And whereas Council confirms that CAO Harry Schlange was not being investigated nor is he being accused of any misconduct; Therefore be it resolved that Council issue a formal apology to CAO Harry Schlange. And be it resolved, that CAO Harry Schlange resumes his responsibilities as CAO as of Tuesday, February 11, 2020. And be it further resolved that Council appoint the Town Clerk to hire a third party, to investigate any allegations that may arise from this matter.” The motion was passed by a 5-4 recorded vote with Ritchie, Sharpe, Vaine, Dunstall and Kadwell voting in favour with Jordan, Bothwell, Vardy and Freake opposing. As soon as the vote was completed, some male staff in attendance bolted for the door. About a halfdozen female staff were in attendance as well. Several of them were moved to tears in the lobby after the meeting broke up. After the meeting, Ritchie said See POLICY, Page 2


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.