@GuelphMercury Article Requires Clarity #Guelph
Good day Guelph,
Today you’ll find an article in the Guelph Mercury that talks about a member from the election compliance audit committee (Mr. Glen Greer) who is upset about many things regarding the Municipal Elections Act and more.
I’d like to thank him for his commitment to the committee and his interest in making the Municipal Elections Act better for all.
What I find disappointing however, is that there were inaccurate statements to the media referencing myself, and this is what I want to clarify for you all.
Mr. Greer has written a letter to the ministry of municipal affairs regarding what he sees as flaws in the current Municipal Elections Act. The Guelph Mercury article stated:
“…..he has written a letter to Minister Ted McMeekin, hoping his comments will still be considered as the ministry contemplates changes to the Municipal Elections Act. And while the other two committee members agree with his viewpoint, they would not agree to sign the letter, Greer said. Nor would Mayor Cam Guthrie, “who basically said I’m on my own in this,” Greer said.”
This above statement (in bold) about me is not accurate.
In his email to my office, he asked the following about his letter:
From: Glenn Greer
Sent: October 30, 2015 3:36 PM
To: Mayors Office
Subject: Municipal Election Compliance Audit on Tolhurst
Dear Mayor Guthrie
……… It (the letter) would have much more clout if it came from the City. What process do I need to follow to have this considered by the City ? Can it be sent in by the Clerk or the Mayor, or does it require City Council approval ?
My office then replied:
Sent: November-02-15 9:09 AM
It is our understanding that the deadline for submission of commentary on the Municipal Election Act has passed (July 27th). As a private citizen, the process encourages and welcomes you to submit materials, per your suggestion, and this may be more expedient. With respect to the City sending correspondence, the Clerk is able to do so but would require direction from Council. It is also customary when the Mayor sends correspondence to have a similar acceptance from Council. Getting this type of item on a Council agenda would involve bringing it through the Governance Committee (this is the committee through which this type of correspondence would be considered) and then on to Council. The challenge is that the next Governance Committee meeting is not until December 8 followed by ratification at Council on December 14. This would appear to be somewhat late in the process. The Clerk has been copied this email for his information.
I hope that you do not see anywhere in the above correspondence where it even remotely implies that I led Mr. Greer to believe that he’d “basically……be on (his) own on this.” Or, that I’m ignoring him.
The reality is that I’m on the same page as Mr. Greer regarding some of his frustrations regarding the current MEA. I stated as such on Sept 14th when I read out loud the following statement at the end of a council meeting, and then posted this statement for all to read and see: READ IT HERE. Within my statement I commit to having this issue brought forward to the governance committee when the ministry releases its findings and that we would add our own voice (council willing) back to the Province on this matter.
I too would have thought the Guelph Mercury would have contacted me directly for comment on this story. Yet that did not happen here.
Earlier today I reached out to Mr. Greer and had a good and respectful conversation with him. I wanted him to know in advance that I would be putting out a statement on this to clarify the article. I let him know that I felt my office clearly responded to him in a timely and professional way by answering his specific questions on process. I’d like to thank him for acknowledging to me that he may have misunderstood or misread my office’s email and its intent, and now sees that indeed there is a process that he can follow for his letter to be considered.
I take communication very seriously and I thank you for allowing me to clarify this situation. The last thing I want anyone to ever believe about me, is that I would lead them to think I’m ignoring them or that I’m leaving them to be “on their own” on any issue of importance.