What would I have done?
In its Inside Halton edition, the Oakville Beaver is reporting that various sources have identified Mayor Rob Burton as a supporter and endorser of Roger Lapworth, a former Ward 4 Council member, who was charged in 2016 for severing the brake lines in his wife's automobile. The couple has since divorced. It is noteworthy that this matter came to light while the Ward 5 incumbent and the mayor were serving on the Halton Region Police Services Board. In all likelihood, both could have known of this situation.
The article addresses the apparent closeness of Lapworth and Burton, even after Lapworth had been charged. Burton has stumbled in his response to this. See this TV interview: CHTV
Some Ward 5 residents have asked what I would have done.
On learning of these charges, I would have consulted with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, legal and human resource professionals. I would have, based on their advice, arranged a meeting with the individual Councillor; expressed regret for the situation the Councillor was in, and strongly urge that, although not judging innocence or guilt, the best resolution would be an agreement to a paid leave of absence. Further, I would have sought agreement that IF any charge was admitted to and or proven, the individual member of Council must immediately resign their Council seat.
During my tenure as mayor, there were a number of 'delicate' matters that were dealt with however I do not recall any actual charges relating directly to a member of Council. In all matters, when appropriate, I briefed, in confidence, council members.
It seems unlikely that the Chair of Halton Regional Police Services Board, the incumbent Mayor, and other members of the Board like the incumbent Ward 5 Councillor would not as a courtesy been told. It was my experience that the Chief of Police, like the Fire Chief, share such matters to ensure that the media did not 'blindside' the elected member; thus it seems unlikely that they would not have been told in confidence.
In light of that, the 'character reference' letter is even more concerning.
I would never have been duped into writing such a 'character reference' letter;
typically I would have asked some very pointed questions, including to whom the letter should be addressed to include reference to the specific purpose of the requested letter. I was extremely careful about using Town of Oakville Office of the Mayor corporate letterhead. I cannot imagine what possessed the mayor to use corporate letterhead unless he has difficulty distinguishing his personal matters from those of the corporation of the Town of Oakville. Ward 5’s Jeff Knoll, who serves on the Halton Region Police Services Board, has not distanced himself from this growing mess…perhaps I missed a 'tweet'.
It is always vitally important to be keep focused on the requirements to serve the people who elected you, those residing within the boundaries of the community you take an oath as an elected official to serve. Never to become too full of your own 'authority' that you forget your obligations as a leader and servant of the law.
Whether or not it is accurate, this unseemly matter has the appearance of a secret deal.
The situation reported in the Oakville Beaver is sad in all aspects; was justice done? It is not overly dramatic to remember that someone could have been killed or seriously injured.
This matter strikes me as part of an ethical malaise that has overtaken some members of Council who seem to believe their incumbency entitles them to be above the rules – to indeed suspend the rules and ethics that govern their office. It is hard to reach any other conclusion than that their judgement was impaired.
This is indeed very disconcerting to the residents of Ward 5 and others in the Town who have sought my opinion about this important matter.
Book your calendar October 4th
To help decide who to vote for, an All Candidates Debate is scheduled for Ward 5, on October 4th at the River Oaks Community Center in the Meeting room “A”. The residents of Ward 5 will have the opportunity to meet all the candidates, understand their position and policies on issues that are important to you.
I look forward to meeting you on October 4th, listening to your concerns and answering your questions.
All Candidates Debate:
- October 4th from 6:45 pm to 9:00 pm
- River Oaks Community Center -Meeting room "A"
Thank you for continuing to empower democracy by taking an active interest in the electoral process.
Please join Ann Mulvale in supporting the Terry Fox Run, to contribute to the raising of vitally important research dollars. Continue Terry's dream that cancer will be beaten!
Ann sends many thanks to the organizers, participants and donors of the Terry Fox Run. Widowed by cancer and a survivor of cancer herself, Ann knows the importance of realizing Terry's dream. Together, cancer can be beaten.
DID YOU KNOW?
Have you heard the latest on the Dynasi Family Restaurant property?
Please have a look at this great video put together by Rob Raham's Team regarding the development by the Dynasi Restaurant. The developer is giving a bonus back to the Town of Oakville for the increase in building height. How much? What will those funds be used for?
The location is in the current Ward 5, soon to be Ward 7. Is there a justification for this increased density, any thought about the increased congestion in that area? Perhaps another example of councillors that just followed the mayor's direction?
I'll ask the questions that Ward 5 constituents need and deserve answers to.
Vote for Ann Mulvale on October 22nd.
Ann Mulvale and her Campaign Team congratulate fellow Oakvillians on the recent recognition in Macleans Magazine as Oakville, Ontario and the 'Best Place' to live in 2018.
"Well done Oakville...we earned it together!"
"This accomplishment belongs to all of us...to the generations of wise Oakvillians who have gone before us...to the couple who always recycle...to the little league coaches...the dog rescuers...the firefighters...the courteous citizens who care enough to stay involved...to the business owners who give back in so many different ways. Not a single one of us, not a single politician, not any one person can say that this is their sole accomplishment. It belongs to all of us...all of us who make a difference every day... and Oakville, that is the real achievement here. We, as a community, have earned this, together. We should be proud of what we have accomplished together."