Link to the post on TLTI Lansdowne website (things sometimes not easy to find there) so it’s HERE
Letter To The Editor:
Written by Frank Kinsella
Monday, 28 February 2011 18:42
The current Council of the Township of Leeds and Thousand Islands must justify the reason for their haste and explain why they voted to immediately terminate Mr. Morris, without apparent regard for the resulting cost to taxpayers and the destabilized administration of this Township.
Many area residents are shocked to hear that the Council of the Township of Leeds and Thousand Islands dismissed the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Malcolm Morris, at a ‘special’ meeting on February 24th. This is stunning news because Mr. Morris has an outstanding reputation from his previous work for the City of Kingston, he was given a very positive performance reviewfor his work in this Township on October 21st, 2010, and community groups and residents attending Council meetings, have observed that Mr. Morris has shown himself to be a balanced, knowledgeable and professional representative on municipal matters.
The big question is “how” Council conducted themselves as a public body because they represent you and me. Council making the right choices for the community depends on having the right information, Did our Council have the right procedural and process information when they terminated the current CAO? They did have a written legal opinion which indicates that this was apremeditated act by some of Council but no lawyer was present to temper their zeal.
This dismissal raises a series of important question that Council must answer.Why the haste in doing this? Was the dismissal procedurally fair? The Statutory Powers Procedure Act requires Council to act differently than they did. The Mayor calls an in-camera meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22 and later informs the Clerk and the CAO that they are not to attend the meeting. The CAO is requested to make a presentation at the Thursday, Feb.24th. meeting, leaves and finds out Friday that he is dismissed.
What is the resultant management situation at the Township? There will now have been 3 CAOs in less than 3 years. With a mostly new and inexperienced Council in place, a 2011 budget and other key operating decisions required, how will this decision add to productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of our Township? Citizens just want a state of calm and responsible management?
Individual Councillors can be held accountable for their actions by asking; “How did you vote to terminate the CAO?””Why did you vote the way you did?” Some will try to hide behind that this is an action of Council done in camera. You have a right to know how your councillor voted on this issue. One response is “We adhered to his contract”. Yes but dismissal “without cause” costs three months gross salary with benefits, the need to hire a “Head Hunter” to fill the position and the costs go on and on.
Some people will publicly proclaim that this Council will run TLTI efficiently and bring it back to financial stability. How does the termination of the CAO without regard to due process accomplish efficiency and financial stability? Council is elected to consider, decide and act but should not put the taxpayers at risk as they have done by this action.