Carleton Place Mayor Antonakos calls for judicial inquiry into “actions and transgressions” of Council

February 12, 2018 by

Carleton Place Mayor Louis Antonakos is calling for a judicial inquiry into the “actions and transgressions” of his fellow council members, which he says is “no longer effective in honestly serving the community at an acceptable level in accordance with the Municipal Act.”

Antonakos released a statement Saturday that accused Councillors of delivering “misinformation” to the integrity commissioner, while leveling accusations of “the derelict of duties by council,” in several areas, while, “turning a blind eye towards inappropriate activity in and around the town hall.”

Here is the complete statement by the Mayor:

11141327_1590149147931390_559050725075883201_nSince taking office as Mayor of Carleton Place, our municipality has become one of the top municipal success stories regarding progress, growth, and fiscal responsibility among the 444 municipalities in the province of Ontario.

Not only has Carleton Place's economy been one of the fastest-growing within the province, it has also become one of the most efficient due to our effectiveness in managing growth, economic development, and ability to attract new investment to our community.

Our plan and vision has been working and the quality of life for the residents of our community is improving although there are growing concerns regarding the administration of the corporation, the effectiveness of council, and staying the course on the current progressive and balanced path.

2014-2018 Highlights

  • Tax increases held under 2% for four years.
  • $100 million in new economic development and investment.
  • $8.75 million in hospital funding for a new emergency room.
  • 50 new businesses in town.
  • Over 2000 new homes are currently on the books and many new builds are already underway or completed.

Concerns:

Since taking office I have witnessed a number of escalating issues that now deeply concern me, not only as Mayor but also as a resident of Carleton Place. It is my belief that our local municipal council has become a “council within a council” and is no longer effective in honestly serving the community at an acceptable level in accordance with the Municipal Act, Best Practices, or our current Code of Conduct.

There are clear signs that malfeasance has taken control of council and the integrity of our municipality is now becoming a concern regarding its neutrality, non-partisanship, effectiveness and innovativeness as an institution that serves the best interest of the government and the citizens of our community.

It is also my belief that there are members of the current council who have adopted demoralizing practices to wield power, influence, and information that is not beneficial to the community in general but directed towards the benefit of a few small, special-interest groups. These negative practices are breeding contempt for the law and inviting people to become a law unto themselves which, in turn, is now an open invitation for destructive behavior and aggressive activity at the town hall and in our community.

The pervasive mood of cynicism and distrust in the community has grown and many residents have begun voicing words and statements such as: incompetence, wrong doing, no transparency or accountability within the governance of our municipality, and no municipal operations accountability or transparency with the public. Some of the causes for this shift in our community’s opinions can be attributed to the following:

· the Ombudsman’s report;

· the two Quintet Reports that were not properly distributed to council or discussed with the proper authorities;

· the ongoing circumvention of mayoral duties and responsibilities by council;

· the derelict of duties by council regarding bylaw enforcement, non-responsiveness to communications, misinformation delivery to the integrity commissioner, and turning a blind eye towards inappropriate activity in and around the town hall, just to name a few.

These types of questionable actions and inactions are a potential concern in regards to municipal performance, ability to protect public resources, providing services efficiently and in maintaining the trust of the community we serve.

What have I done as Mayor about these issues and concerns?

First and foremost, all of my actions regarding these issues and concerns have been meticulously documented in public presentations and in exchanges with council, staff, our local member of parliament, the province, and the Ontario Provincial Police.

On many occasions, my efforts in trying to deal with these issues and concerns have been intentionally blocked by council and, at times, by senior staff. Much of the information relevant for public consumption has been cut off, sanitized, not properly disseminated out into the community through the local newspaper, on the town’s website, or through other town communications channels.

At this point, I believe that in order to set the record straight and re-align the roles and responsibilities of all council members and senior staff with the Municipal Act, Best Practices and our Code of Conduct, all relevant documentation should be released to the public and a full inquiry into the actions and transgressions of this council should be investigated and dealt with through a judicial inquiry.

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