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CAO's Code of Conduct - Report

 

 

 

TO:

Town of Bancroft Committee of the Whole

 

 

FROM:

Hazel Lambe CAO/Clerk

 

 

DATE:

September 29th, 2015

 

 

 

SUBJECT:

Code of Conduct  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the CAO’s Code of Conduct report be received for information purposes and published on the Town’s website for public information.

 

Background:

 

A municipality is currently not required to have a Code of Conduct for its Council or its employees.  The Council of the Town of Bancroft decided in 2013 that a Code of Conduct was good practise as it helps to ensure that employees, members of Council and members of the public share and understand a common basis of acceptable conduct. 

 

In general, a Code of Conduct “should serve to enhance public confidence that elected representatives and employees operate from a basis of integrity, justice and courtesy.”

Municipal Codes of Conduct vary across municipalities as specific content is determined by each individual Council.  There are risks associated with the implementation of a Code of Conduct because it cannot specifically identify every situation that may arise. 

 

A Code of Conduct is an acknowledgement and commitment to all people that the persons for whom it is written will act with integrity, fairness, consistency, impartiality, and respect, and that they will act within the law without any prejudices or biases. 

 

It is intended to encourage the highest standards of ethical behaviour in order to uphold public trust, governance, and the Town’s reputation.  It is a living document and is a value-based reference intended to encourage the highest standard of ethical behaviour.

 

Members of Council are committed to transparent and accountable governance in order to best serve their constituents.  The Council of the Town of Bancroft is entrusted with the public’s confidence in making decisions and performing their duties in office. 

 

Rigorous oversight of Member conduct is achieved through existing Statutes and policies such as the Criminal Code of Canada and the Ontario Human Rights Code, as well as the Municipal Act, Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Municipal Elections Act, Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the Town’s Policies, By-laws and Protocols. 

 

There are several components to a Code of Conduct:

 

  1. 1.    Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance: deals with conducting business in a transparent, accountable and equitable manner, recognizing that the public has a right to open government, participation in decision making, and access to information on how decisions are made.  Decisions are made by Council as a whole.

 

  1. 2.    Conduct for Council and Committee Meetings:  Council will conduct themselves with decorum to show courtesy and respect to fellow members and others.

 

  1. 3.    Conduct Respecting Staff

 

  1. 4.    Respecting Confidential Information

 

  1. 5.    Respecting Corporate Resources

 

  1. 6.    Respecting Gifts, Hospitality and Benefits:  All gifts and benefits are a matter of public record.

 

  1. 7.    Compliance and Interpretation:  Council has the right to appoint an Integrity Commissioner

 

It is not the intent of a Code of Conduct for Council that any member of the Council would act independently through their interpretation/opinion and that the independent action(s) has the potential to place other members of Council in a position whereby their integrity is jeopardized in any way. 

 

A member of Council may challenge another member or members if they feel the Code has been breached.  Such challenge should be filed with the Clerk and presented to Council as a whole whereby it can be appropriately debated.  Questions regarding the clarity of the Code of Conduct should be addressed collectively by all members of Council while in proper public forum.

 

The filing of records such as gifts, hospitality and benefits received by a member of Council is a Councillor responsibility if so requested by any person and is governed by Statute as it is a record of the Corporation.  This does not rely on a Code of Conduct.

 

The Mayor’s opening of a meeting of Council whereby a moment of silence for personal reflection is provided is generally a time that members can reflect on their declaration of office and Code of Conduct.  Council is responsible for providing the highest standards of ethical behaviour to uphold public trust, governance integrity, and the Town’s reputation. 

 

In 2015, the Town of Bancroft’s solicitor reviewed the Town’s Code of Conduct and all applicable Statute regarding matters pertaining to gifts, hospitality and benefits. The Solicitor identified and confirmed interpretation for Council and staff acceptable activities as it applied to this section.

 

As most small and medium municipalities remain without a Code of Conduct, the Town of Bancroft has taken a leading role and proven their commitment to residents approving a Code of Conduct for its elected members of Council and all employees.  

 

 

 

Signatures:                          CAO/Clerk    _______________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resolution #254-2015

 

Please be advised that at a Regular Council meeting held on Sept 8/15 Council has approved the following Resolution:

 

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Council of the Corporation of the Town of Bancroft increase the sewer rates by 2% effective September 8, 2015 and a further 2% effective January 1, 2016.

 

 

Press Release - AMO Conference 2015

 

 

 

Proposed Quarry and Summary of Approval Process

 

Quarry Approval Process Timeline

 

In considering a new or expanded quarry, approvals are required from three levels of government: the Province of Ontario, County of Hastings and the Township of Faraday, involving the following steps:

 

  1. A.   Proponent hosts a Public Open House regarding the proposal (this was held June 25th at the Bancroft Fish and Game Club).  This was an opportunity to make available information to the public at an early stage of the process and allows the proponent to collect additional information from the comments of the attendees;
  2. B.   Proponent submits public comments from the Open House to Hastings County to form a “Complete Application” for an Amendment to the Official Plan.  The amendment involves a re-designation from the “Rural” designation to the “Extractive” designation;
  3. C.   Studies and background information are submitted to support the application (impacts regarding groundwater, natural environment, noise, traffic, etc.).  The studies are evaluated by the County peer review consultants in order to determine acceptability.
  4. D.   If the conclusion is an accepting of the background studies, the County issues a Notice of Complete Application and Public Meeting and advertises a public meeting(under the Planning Act) for the purposes of considering the application to amend the Official Plan. 
  5. E.   County Planning and Development Committee makes recommendations of adoption or denial to County Council for its decision;
  6. F.    If approved, County Council issues a Notice of Adoption and forwards it to the  Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) for its approval;
  7. G.   In turn, MMAH either approves the application or denies approval in its capacity as the approval authority for the County’s official plan and its amendments;
  8. H.   If approved, a pit or quarry becomes a permitted land use at the level of the County Official Plan.
  9. I.      Following an approval (or as pending approval) by MMAH, the Applicant may apply to the Township of Faraday for a zone amendment from the “Rural” (RU) Zone to the “Extractive Industrial (MX)” Zone.  The application for a zone amendment involves Faraday Council advertising and hosting a public meeting
  10. J.    If the Applicant is successful in completing a zone amendment, an application to the Ministry of Natural Resources is required for a quarry license.  A public meeting is required as part of the licensing process.  A quarry license addresses on-site operational issues such as site entrance, noise berms, excavation areas, screening and crushing, hours of operation, blasting, etc. 
  11. K.   If appeal(s) are lodged with respect to the official plan amendment and related zoning by-law amendment and aggregate license, a “consolidated” Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing would be held to consider all appealed applications with eligible parties in attendance.

 To view file as a pdf - click here

ROMA/OGRA Conference ~ February 2015

 

Mayor Bernice Jenkins provided the Council with an update on the various delegations held at the February OGRA/ROMA conference.  The town looks forward to working with the Province in determining positive resolutions for this issues.

 

Sunday  Feb 22nd    1:45pm

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

P A Lou Rhinaldi, New Brunswick Room

Provincial Policy Statement; Basic support, Infilling on municipal services is essential; Needs clear and defined wording concerning enforcement.

Update on our Pilot Project for Community Safety and Well Being.

As the host municipality of a rural transit we emphasize its importance with our aging population.

Update on Earth Sciences Centre.

Thank you for taking the huge step to reform OPP Billing. However, the unfairness of the “Reduction Phase In” is unacceptable. In 2015 our bill should be $1,007,931 but we will pay $1,434,251 because of “Phasing In” That is $426,320 more than we should pay following years of overbilling.

We await the final decision on “Land Fill Assessment” from MPAC. We were glad to have staff work with the government on this important file.

We left copies of all our presentations with MMAH.

 

 

Monday Feb 23rd     9:35 am

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change … Climate Change Presentation.

The Honourable Glen Murray     Confederation 6

Community Improvement Plan includes incentives that support efforts to address climate change

Comprehensive Zoning By-Law amended to support second living units in the residential zone.

Provided a location within our park for BCT’s sustainable building

Fire Chief Hoover is the Chair of the South Central Fire Smart Committee. They are currently completing a Pilot Project that will develop a template for the province to utilize in mitigating wildfires at a municipal level.

Climate Change is being incorporated into the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP)

Town staff are required to address climate change in all departmental operations.

We are currently in the process of a streetlight retrofit to LED.

Tree planting program in the downtown core by BBIA

Community Committee constructing a boardwalk along the York River

Some Parking Lots are returned to a permeable surface

Site Plan Control considers our ICSP for developers.

York River Flood Plan Policy within the Official Plan.

Shoreline Restoration through shrub and grass planting after the 2013 flood.

In the past the town has provided financial funding to community public transit organizations and will consider for 2015.

These are all long term helpers but there is a short term request. Both 2013 and 2014 saw extreme weather that threatened the town. In 2013 we had a flood and 2014 was close. We ask you to support an immediate review of the Water Management Plan for the York River that is not due until 2019.  Minister Murray indicated that he could see the point of this.

 

 

Monday Feb 23rd    9:45 am

Ministry of the Environmant and Climate Change … Nutrient Act

The Honourable Glen Murray, Minister      Confederation 6

We were joined by representatives from Mississipi Mills and Halton. Mississippi Mills have a very similar issue and Halton had a pilot project and was left high and dry. The reason for this is the province’s failure to completely enact the “Nutrient Management Act” and further to continue to extend C of A’s for land application of untreated septage.

it does not appear that there is any requirement or mechanism for calculating the reserve capacity for the lands upon which raw septage is laid.

So, to be clear, the Town of Bancroft, with encouragement from the Provincial government, underwent a WWTP upgrade to include septage that is not required by septic tank users. We have 1,000 sewer customers and an operating shortage of $400,000 per year as we pay our debt and OCWA’s increased operating costs on the expanded plant. This is a desperate situation for us.

We can lay the reason for this squarely on the shoulders of the Province’s change of heart and mind.  

Minister Murray immediately understood. He has offered to have us involved in looking for a solution and he apologized for the Province’s part in this ridiculous situation. I believe we will find a solution together.

 

 

Ministry of Finance  Feb 23rd    9:40 am

P A Laura Albanese     New Brunswick Room

Deputy Mayor Paul Jenkins and CAO Hazel Lambe took this presentation due to the timeline.

OMPF Staff prepared a detailed look at the OMPF formula. Our request was that the Ministry look at our information and then we will meet to discuss it.

MPAC We expressed our appreciation to be part of the discussions and pointed out the differences between Private and Public Land Fills.

OPP Billing Reform Thank you for instituting the Billing Reform. However, the unfairness of the “reduction phase in” for those municipalities harmed for so long is unacceptable. Can you imagine telling any resident of Ontario that you understand and admit that they have been overbilled for 10+/- years but we will now take 5 years to reduce your bill to the appropriate level. An immediate reversal and payback is the appropriate action, similar to a MPAC appeal.

We were invited and agreed to participate on the Working Group for municipal funding.  MOF delegation.

 

 

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport  Feb 24th   12:45 pm

The Honourable Michael Coteau         PEI Room     

We are a small community known internationally for our mining history and the Rockhound Gemboree in it’s 52nd year. The only working mine is the Princess Sodalite, a favorite for our tourists. We also have a world class Mineral Museum housing minerals from our immediate area.

We also host a number of venues for the Arts.

We also sponsor many local events. Wheels Water and Wings is growing every year.

We are working toward an Earth Sciences Centre. Hastings County has partnered with us to get to develop a strategic and business plan. This will be an international project and we look forward to the Province becoming a full partner.

We mentioned a call that I received from a local tourism business and his concerns about RTO 11. He stated that it started out as a Lean Mean Let’s do Stuff Organization and has turned into a Consultant Based Process Driven Nothing Happening Organization, completely stalled by Red Tape. A Million $  Budget that grants a paltry $83,000 to tourism business’ at a 50/50 split.

Our request is that you find a way to financially support the Bancroft and District DMO. Further we request that you meet with representatives of the DMO. We would be glad to facilitate that meeting.

 

 

 Ministry of Natural Resources & Fisheries (& Forestry)   Feb 24th    6:50 pm

P A Eleanor McMahon         Nova Scotia Room

Flooding We brought our concerns with the York River Water Management Plan and flooding. Simply our request was to have this plan reviewed immediately and not wait till 2019.

We took the opportunity to thank the P A for the good work done by the Bancroft Office and Field Staff but they need the appropriate tools.

While Warnings are important for the welfare of our residents they do nothing to help with property damage. We need a better plan as we seem to be in a cycle of extreme weather.

Forestry and Tourism along with Services are the big employers in North Hastings. Our local foresters through BAFIA take sustainability very seriously. We must protect the right to harvest forest products in Algonquin Park.  BAFIA has just received an award Outstanding Forestry Education.

Wood Initiatives is working to bring suppliers and users together. It is almost unbelievable how many self employed people work with Forest Products.

Northern Outdoor Studies or NOS Program is a four credit high school program unique to NHHS, which provides natural resource management education and skills training to students. The program is currently under review and is facing the threat of cancellation.

This is an innovative program for the Bancroft area, and its cancellation would have a serious impact on the communities well-being.

Our request is that MNR move the Water Management Plan Review ahead. I believe we have agreement to see that happen.

 

Town of Bancroft

24 Flint Ave., P.O. Box 790
Bancroft, ON K0L 1C0

Phone: (613) 332-3331
Fax: (613) 332-0384
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