Base decision on common sense
Open letter to members of Norfolk County Council and residents of Norfolk County
Re: Council’s decision to reduce staff at bylaw department
I have just read that five members of Norfolk council have voted to reduce the bylaw department staff level by one. This is being proposed under the pretense of saving the taxpayers of Norfolk $100,000.
I would ask members of council to consider the facts that have been presented.
- During the past year complaints received by the bylaw department have increased by 200 per cent.
- County Clerk Andy Grozelle stated the Ombudsman office indicates the trend in other areas show an increase by 200-300 per cent in bylaw complaints. The increase of bylaw complaints as seen in Norfolk County is consistent when compared to other areas.
- During the past year a supervisor has been hired, which has resulted in efficiencies within the department.
- Some members of council justified their decision to reduce the number of front line officers because a supervisor had been hired during this past year.
- Responsibilities of a supervisor are to ensure the work is completed and completed in a timely fashion. It is not the responsibility of a supervisor to do the front line work.
- Some bylaw clerical duties are being completed by staff in the clerk’s office and for this I commend your efforts, however I remind you clerical staff members are not front line officers. Front line officers must do the field investigations and attempt to resolve the complaint.
I am glad to see that Coun. Columbus recognized that Norfolk should increase staffing levels in the area of bylaw enforcement based on a 200 per cent increase in workload.
It is refreshing to see that Coun. Martin expressed the same concerns and stated in good conscience she could not support the reduction of staff numbers in the bylaw dept. Martin put forth an alternative that did not receive the support from some of her colleagues.
It is refreshing that Coun. Huffman recognized that reducing staff levels in the bylaw dept. did not make sense based on fact and common sense.
To the five members of council that voted to reduce the number of front line officers in our bylaw dept. please reconsider. We all want to save money. We all want responsible government, however, when elected officials make decisions that are not based on fact or common sense, responsible government is NOT what the people get in return.
To Mayor Chopp, Councillors Tom Masschaele, Chris Van Paassen, Ian Rabbits, and Ryan Taylor, I remind you to consider the legal ramifications that must be considered when facts and common sense are ignored. In the event Norfolk County is required to defend itself in any legal proceedings, $100,000 is going to be an insignificant amount. When facts and common sense are sacrificed for money, the circumstances can be tragic.
On Leslyn Lewis’s official Facebook page, Jan. 7, why did she write – along with so coldly posting a photo of the recently murdered Sergeant Andrew Harnett for sickeningly political purposes – the following: “Officer Harnett was originally from the riding of Haldimand-Norfolk which is the riding I represent”?
Excuse me? Did I miss a federal election since Diane Finley’s resignation? I certainly don’t recall seeing the name “Leslyn Lewis” on a ballot anywhere!
Quick civics lesson, Ms. Lewis: MP Finley’s retirement did not result in you (nor anyone else) automatically inheriting her position. In Canada, we reserve inherited rule for queens and kings only. You aren’t one, imperiousness notwithstanding.
Relatedly, to represent us in Ottawa, you must win an election. You haven’t.
Since one hopes a pious woman such as yourself would never break the 9th Commandment – “thou shalt not lie” – the only possible explanation for your falsehood is far more disturbing: you must actually believe yourself to already be the sitting MP for Haldimand Norfolk.
You are not. Go ahead, ask anyone. Your claim, therefore, is untrue.
Finally, using the murder of Sergeant Harnett to bolster your limitless political aspirations is just sick.
Our Mrs. Finley would never have stooped so low, nor made such a foolish miscalculation. But then, she grew up here, she is one of us, while you are not. Believe me, Ms. Lewis, it shows.
Extending profound sympathies to the family and friends of Sergeant Andrew Harnett and the wider community in mourning for him. He was a humble, hard-working man from Haldimand-Norfolk who represented the best of us. May he rest in peace.