In a half-hearted attempt to achieve transparency in the OPP costing debate, the town has taken to opinion blogging on the official Town of Midland corporate website. While open communications are normally lauded as foundations of democracy the town has fumbled the ball by hiding or deleting questions and critical responses from local residents and taxpayers.
The questions we saw appear briefly on the town’s page were posted on their new series titled “Straight Talk About Policing”. While our observation of these posts finds them to be nothing more than propaganda, obviously biased and supporting the disbanding of our local police force, we are neither surprised nor shocked.
The consultant report and the reports authored by the town’s new CAO have been easily dissected by many observers in the community and contain multimillion dollar errors that can only be seen as a way to influence council and the community that the OPP could be cheaper in the long run. Their math and logic is wrong and their conclusions won’t be confirmed by the OPP, nor are they required to commit to any pricing beyond the 3 years they quoted – which if you recall, sees them MORE EXPENSIVE than keeping our local cops.
The irony builds as we see supposed “straight talk” from the town on a subject matter they seem inept at calculating or comparing. Furthermore we see information provided by the actual police authority, Midland’s chief, ignored by the town as they charge on with assertions now called into serious question by Midland’s top cop who has been responsible for the police budgets for a decade or more.
It’s “Straight talk on policing” from anyone OTHER than the police – whom we’ve been reminded – are sworn to tell the truth. Has our CAO or any town staff, or council for that matter, taken such an oath? Maybe we’re old fashioned but we’re more inclined to believe the police chief in these matters since he has everything to gain by disbanding and nothing to lose, and yet he continues push for the truth and even a basic comparison of services and accurate costs for Midland.
With the town tightly controlling the narrative, muzzling any critical voices from those whom they serve and answer to, it has become crystal clear that the beaurocrats are in firm control of the messaging and have exposed their agenda to herd council towards an OPP outcome by only publishing their versions of the facts and ignoring or hiding validated and verifiable criticism.
We can’t vote out the CAO or the consultant we’ve paid $75,000 to fill out an excel sheet. But we can hold our politicians accountable for blindly following to the CAO’s well to drink deeply from his water.
We call on the town to stop censoring dissent and to respond to questions by the community and to the thought provoking analysis provided by the police chief. We expect the chief to be at the upcoming public meeting to field questions along side the beaurocrats who seem to be leading this process.
It is refreshing to see councillor Oschefski maintaining online discussions on his Facebook page and he can be applauded for his continued openness. The town could learn a thing or two from this first term councillor in whom we see great potential in 2018.
If you would rather see analysis from someone other that Midand’s police chief we encourage you to join John Todd’s Facebook group Huronias Past and Present where he has done the due diligence we’d expect the town to do. We’ve republished much of both of their data on our site in case you don’t “Facebook”. Don’t miss the public meeting coming up shortly on August 23rd at the sports and rec centre at 2pm and 7pm.