In Gerry Marshall’s “warden’s update” emailed out to the community, he references a meeting to take place in Midland on Tuesday to “discuss potential Library opportunities between Midland and Penetanguishene”. This surprise comes on the heals of the untimely and sudden “retirement” of Bill Molesworth from the Midland Library after having his budget slashed, suggestions of him using volunteers as “staff” and losing even more of his IT support.
It is sad, but not unexpected, that we learn about this from a neighbouring municipality’s email instead of our of our own Council. When did this plan come into fruition. Was disposing of our library’s CEO part of this plan? What does Midland gain from this? What exactly is Council cooking up and when were they planning on seeking input from the communities served by both Midland and Penetanguishene’s libraries?
With Council’s rejection of their 75th percentile capital / asset cutting exercise in favour of reaching the hallowed 75th percentile on the backs of town staff in the form of wages and benefit cuts, things are starting to come into focus.
While Councillor Strathearn’s carefully crafted motion (seemingly prepared in advance of the meeting) introduced last Wednesday December 9th speaks directly to this assertion, we can only conclude that it’s “out with the senior staff “who built, grew and managed this community’s assets into their current state – and “in with low-paid replacements” to keep it running.
Combining services in our communities can make sense, provide efficiencies and save both money and duplication of effort but only when it is done right, equally benefits all involved and entered into in good faith.
How does one manager / CAO / CEO serve two masters in two communities? Our new joint fire chief will soon know the answer when he delivers the efficiencies report early next year. If he fails to please will he be joining his predecessor Kevin Foster?
Maybe the town of Midland will speak to this matter sooner than later… Once again we ask… Does the community get a say and how much are we saving and to who’s benefit? Ours or Penetanguishene’s? And was retiring our librarian part of the plan?
Perhaps someone from the Midland Library Board or even Gerry Marshall will contact us to clarify what the proposal is/was and keep the community up-to-date about this event that was made so publicly known by Penetanguishene’s Mayor through his County Warden’s update.
Here is Gerry Marshall’s latest update as Warden of Simcoe County: