No Job Offers To Midland Police Staff From OPP As Of Yet
Less than a month from the proposed transition date of February 8th, 2018, Members of the Midland Police Service do not know whether the switch to OPP will take place. When approaching several sources, they had the following to share about the anxiety and uncertainty that has ruled this process – a far cry from the assurances we all heard from Mayor Gord McKay and the town’s CAO John Skorobohacz who proclaimed job offers and easy transition for any staff that wanted to apply for a position with the OPP.
It seems that the delays fall squarely on the Midland Police Service Board negotiating committee, made up of George Dixon and Councillor Stewart Strathearn (both co-founders of MidlandCommunity.ca along with Roy Ellis). The MidlandCommunity.ca group has led the charge to transition to the OPP seeing countless blog posts on their website and hearing Dixon himself support the transition, in emails to his followers in Aberdeen Homeowners Association and in a speech he gave the night of the vote.
In an ironic twist, the two who seem to want this the most, have dragged their feet with negotiations, causing the Ontario Civilian Police Commission to ponder whether the matter should move forward in February or be adjourned. This decision will be made later this week, leaving dedicated staff only three weeks to learn whether they will be offered a job or not.
Dixon and Strathearn have arbitrarily postponed negotiations for years, and now some contracts are more than three years out of date; having expired in 2014. Negotiations are a primary task of the board members and their actions seem to be causing delays to the very process they want to expedite.
The actions of these two will cost the town even more money than they expected. Severances will increase, vendor contracts may need to be renewed or extended, the bargain price they hoped for in year four will be put off an additional 6 months, as the Town pays the initial price (which is HIGHER than the cost of Midland Police) for three full years.
All the while, Midland Community, a group these two started with Roy Ellis, points the fingers at everyone else for increased costs.