Ombudsman, Minister clear Pelham; Council focuses on future

Pelham Town Council is pleased with the ruling by the Ombudsman of Ontario and a letter from the Minister of Municipal Affairs that close the loop on outstanding allegations of wrongdoing.  

The Ombudsman ruled that the Town of Pelham correctly held an in camera  meeting on September 5, 2017 and the Minister stated that no provincial audit would be conducted, instead inviting the Region and local area municipalities to develop stronger working relationships.

“[The report and letter] are gratifying, but it’s good to get this behind us; our community has been on an emotional roller coaster,” said Mayor Dave Augustyn. “We are focused on our community centre, our upcoming award-winning festivals and events season, and growing our community in ways that enhance the quality of life for every resident.”

The Ombudsman report states: “Council for the Town of Pelham did not contravene the Municipal Act, 2001 on September 5, 2017, when it discussed a consultant’s report, received legal advice, and received a presentation from staff in camera”.

A letter from the Honourable Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs, states: “The provincial government recognizes municipalities as responsible and accountable governments, with the authority to make decisions on matters within their own jurisdictions, including management of their finances. As such, the Ministry will not be proceeding with a provincial municipal audit.”

“Regardless of your position on a particular issue, the confirmation that your local government operates within the confines of the rules and regulations should make everyone happy,” said Augustyn. “We’re continuing to move forward with open discussion on important community issues.”

The Ombudsman report and letter from the Minister can be found in the Council agenda package for May 7, 2017.