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Last Week’s News Filled With Town Hall Dysfunction

Last Week’s News Filled With Town Hall Dysfunction

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Stories in last week’s Midland Mirror and Our Midland.ca don’t paint a pretty picture of the goings on at town hall, surprise, surprise.  Layoffs and firings, coupled with golden parachutes, friction between some council members and staff paint a rather ugly picture of how the town finds itself deep in debt.

Known for its dozens and dozens of secret in-camera meetings, the veil has been pulled back so ratepayers can see a council rife with often what appears to be pretty poor intentions.

In a story that the Mirror was slow to cover, but finally did, they reported on the near 1/2 million tax dollars wasted by Council and senior staff as they fired and retired senior staff members and casually wrote cheque after cheque in severance and golden parachutes to those dismissed after years of faithful service – only to replace most of them.  The Deputy Mayor tried to downplay the amount by stating that $300,000 of the $500,000+ was the cost of doing away with local police dispatch.  Oddly the FOI request that a citizen made to get the numbers from the Town should not have included the police payoffs since the dispatchers were not employees of the Town of Midland!  Mike Ross should know this as he sits on the police service board and likely negotiated the deal to begin with.  More distraction and subterfuge by our next mayoral hopeful.  Not looking good on him.

One wonders who much the severance will be in this year’s budget for the ex-CAO..  or how much tax money is set aside for salary continuations instead on one-time severance payments.  This Council is anything but forthcoming about the true impact to ratepayers and continues to hide their actions at in-camera meetings.  Funny we don’t hear a peep about this blundering waste of tax dollars from our local “cut taxes” and “stop tax waste” community group.  Their silence over the months is telling.

In the story that the Mirror ran about the aforementioned ex CAO, it seems that Mike Ross blabbed a confidential severance amount for Carolyn Tripp, said to be 9 months salary.  In addition he divulged the vote was 8-1 in favour of terminating her.  While we love to get particulars, he can’t elaborate since he spoke about confidential information in the first place.  What is going on in chambers?  Tripp was quoted as cautioning Midland “The people of Midland will have some decisions to make in two years’ time for the betterment of the town, and I would love to see that.”

When one tries to compare this council to those say back to 1960, this particular council  seems to have had  more than its share of negative press. Probably more than the water throwing council meeting  of decades ago. As the local media digs deeper into what makes this council tick, it is expected more dysfunction will surface…..stay tuned, this story is far from over.

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Comment(25)

    1. Spoken like a true politician!!! 17,000 people in Midland. So at $1.00 each person, that’s $17,000. dollars for a couple dozen signs!!!! A WASTE of TAXPAYERS MONEY!!!!

    2. No, I was talking about ALL the street signs that were replaced. Over 200 of them. I’m not a politician, I’m a resident of Midland who gets my facts straight before complaining about everything. Can’t wait to see your name on the ballot in 2 years.

    3. Oh please. This is 2016, I am my own person. I make my own decisions based on my own information. Cody and I barely even talk politics, this has nothing to do with him, so you can leave him out of our conversation. You want to complain about street signs costing you a dollar, go for it. But you won’t be getting my vote with all your rude negativity 🙂

    4. That’s too bad. I think it’s great when people actually do something to make a change to the things they complain about instead of sitting behind a computer screen and do nothing.

    5. With all the shit the town is wasting money each and every dollar counts cj CJ Baines is right with even if it’s a dollar from each house hold in midland there are way better things that money could be spent on and my dollars are running out and I want real issues del with the few signs they bought could have been cheeper with out stupid logos on them guarantee but we gotta keep up with looking good just my thoughts

  1. Strange ….being a police dispatcher my paycheques were issued by the Town of Midland for almost 18 years …..and now they say I wasn’t an employee of the Town ?????
    just sayin

  2. From what I’ve be told about the budget the police are paid by the town’s money but they all work for the police services board and not the town. They are not town employees and their severance was not part of the FOI request. Those numbers would come from the police board by way of FOI request. Some probably chose to have something called salary continuation instead of a lump sum which spreads the impact of their payouts over more than one year. The 500k didn’t include those police dispatchers who got the boot and the local jobs outsourced to another community. Mike Ross should come clean on his statement.

  3. The police service employeesare town employees. The police services board are appointed by the provincial government which includes civilian members and town councillors or mayor.

    All dispatchers and police officers are town employees

    The board runs the service but all employees are town employees. The board makes decisions

  4. The police services board consists of appointed civilians by the province, and members of council. They make the decisions and run the police service.

    Dispatchers, civilians and police officers ARE town employees.

    A Severance is a severance and it came out of the town of Midland’s coffers no matter how some have decided to receive it.

    Regardless of the FOI request I just wanted to say that those employees are town of employees.

  5. Ok, well for the purposes of accounting police wages/benefits and severance are not shown on the town budget, they are part of the police budget line. So, we were told the FOI response would include town “employees” which “police service personnel” are not by the town’s definition. Regardless of how you want to see it, we seem to have given away several good paying local jobs to another community and the $500k we found out about it does not include the money to pay off our former police dispatchers… that is the point here.

    1. That’s right! Good jobs lost! Outsourcing not always a savings. They are now paying officers overtime to monitor the jail cells as they no longer have the staff to do so. The dispatchers were monitoring the cells by video!!! Where is the savings. And then should the OPP come in, costs will increase year after year!

    2. Lise Longchamp yes and I hear we still are paying around 300k yearly to Owen sound so no net savings for midland for years vs lost jobs and severance. This council is a disgrace. Going for savings on paper that are not in line with real costs. They must think we are all stupid.

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Last Week’s News Filled With Town Hall Dysfunction

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