LETTER: Delegated authority puts too much power in staff hands

Letter to the Editor:

Let’s talk about the elephant in room, or shall we say ‘rooms’ at the administration department in the Town of Bracebridge.

Where does the buck stop, letter writer asks.

In a recent article entitled ‘Bracebridge councillor fears decision takes away elected responsibility,’ only one councillor had the courage to raise his hand and say ‘NO’ to the administration’s plan to remove more of the councillors’ delegated authority.

Just ask a councillor what happened last time their delegated authority was taken away the town’s administration.

For years now, one man has acquired all the power to do all the hiring and firing, while at the same time many senior staff members have chosen to leave. It’s like he has been running his own business and agenda, all the while using taxpayers’ dollars to do so.

The mayor and deputy (mayor) are on record as saying that they are in favour of removing delegated authority from the councillors, as it helps expedite the process of getting things done.

The fact that this administration is asking for further delegated authority to be removed from council is nothing short of a power grab.

The sad part of this for citizens of Bracebridge is that many are not aware of the importance of this move and that many on town council are turning a blind eye to it.

This is the same administration that the (Ontario) Ombudsman was called upon regarding the improper handling and procedures of votes for our most recent election and was charged by the Ministry of Labour in 2012.

The same administration who is responsible for the quick departure of many senior staff over the last decades.

Do we really want to provide them with more power by taking it away from our elected representatives (town council)?

The Town of Bracebridge needs its administration department to be more accountable to town council, not finding ways to circumvent it.

We need a strong town council that will stand up for the taxpayers of Bracebridge, and stand up to the current administration department.

We need people who along with chasing their individual carrots dangled by the master puppeteer, will faithfully oversee all aspects of our town.

A town council that is not intimidated by a few people whose leadership continues to negatively impact the development of our town.

Mr. (Councillor Archie) Buie, we applaud you. Keep raising your hand for the citizens of Bracebridge. Eventually taxpayers will realize which councillors are protecting the current administration and replace them with stronger leaders who will work for all of them — and all of us.

Ask your town councillors more about their loss of delegated authority, and more importantly why they didn’t vote to keep it.

Bullying has no place in politics.

Michael Smith

Bracebridge