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Councillors who value expert opinion reject it, want do-over

By Mike Williscraft

Several members of the Grimsby 5 who regularly laud expert opinion voted to discard an Integrity Commissioner (IC) report filed with regard to a Coun. Dave Kadwell complaint.

IC Michael Maynard took over for Charles Harnick, who was dismissed as Grimsby’s IC after Coun. Randy Vaine and Coun. Kevin Ritchie took exception with his findings on different complaints.

On Monday Coun. Dave Sharpe questioned Maynard’s finding that Kadwell’s compaint was not within his jurisdiction to levy a finding. Sharpe also questioned the order in which he composed the 19-page report.

Maynard explained he had to start over on the file after Harnick was fired. He gathered pertinent information and interviewed appropriate contacts before coming to the realization the matter was not in his jurisdiction – in response to Sharpe asking him why he went so far with the complaint if he could not follow through.

Maynard said, while he could not issue a finding, he composed the report to educate council as to why and suggested they opt for cheaper means of conflict resolution – such as mediation – instead of IC complaints.

Sharpe said Maynard should have put his conclusion at the front, saving him reading the whole report.

“I am not willing to accept a 19-page report without any findings,” said Sharpe.

In a 5-4 vote – Sharpe, Vaine, Ritchie, and Councillors Dave Kadwell and John Dunstall voting in favour; Councillors Lianne Vardy, Reg Freake, Dorothy Bothwell and Mayor Jeff Jordan opposing. – council approved a motion demanding Maynard return to council with “a finding”.

Clarifying a question during the vote, Maynard noted council needed to waive jurisdictional issues for him to provide a finding. No such measure was included in the motion.

The Kadwell complaint was filed after Vardy said, “Well done, Kadwell” after he changed his vote and went against a Main Street East heritage study at the Dec. 21 council meeting.

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