Opinion – Mismanagement on Town Council

Filed under: Opinion |

by Fred Groves

Resources, resources, and resources.

Members of Essex Town Council, in my opinion, are mismanaging them.

Now to be more specific, I am referring to human and financial resources.

Let’s begin this week’s rant with how they are treating their employees. I am not going to get into the firing of the former CAO, I might not ever get over that blunder.

Anyway, at the recent Town Council meeting, Council received a detailed report from its Economic Development Officer who was charged with the task of not only gathering information on a particular subject, but giving his opinion.

I am talking about ATVs on roads in Essex. The staff member did his due diligence and he was shot down to the point of being insulted by two councillors. One of those shocked me when he, after saying no to the report, changed his mind.

When Council members hire a particular employee, who is educated, qualified, and capable, they have to let him or her do the job.

On this particular night, one Councillor even went as far as bad-mouthing the opinion of the Town’s Clerk who is there to provide a legal opinion. Sorry, I looked across the room and there is not a lawyer on Council.

Okay, next up, financial resources.

The recent decision to come up with a solution as to whether or not the Deputy Mayor gig should be elected at large by the public or a tap on the shoulder from the colleagues around the table became a costly one. Council decided to spend around $50,000 on this.

Seriously. Instead of bringing in yet another consultant for this, make the decision in house or better yet, have your own staff do a report – wait you fired her, sorry, too soon guys.

That wasted money could have gone to let’s say, the Essex Youth Centre, which now receives a big fat zero from the town.

I want everyone reading this to pay attention to this last statement because according to the Finance Committee, May 16, 2017 – Recommendation to Council that the policy for the Essex Community Partnership Fund be reviewed in relation to grants for seniors and youth prior to considering 2018 grant requests to ensure that funding levels are sufficient to sustain senior and youth organizations.

A big thank you to Town Clerk Robert Auger who took the time to find and compile for me the minutes of the Fire Hall Steering Committee. Looks like for some interesting reading.