Suggestions of conflict, won’t deter Guergis’ NVCA motion
New Tecumseth Free Press Online September 28, 2009
Essa Township mayor David Guergis said he will not be sidetracked by suggestions he’s in a conflict of interest pushing for the dissolution of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) which he labels “an attempt to tarnish my reputation.”
The matter referenced is in relation to property his wife Leesa Turnbull-Guergis owns and is trying to develop as a commercial site including a potential Canadian Tire anchored plaza, in Angus that is in a designated flood zone. As a result “certain exceptions would have to be met in order for development to take place,” according to minutes of a tape recorded special meeting of the NVCA executive committee held on March 13, 2009 attended and addressed by mayor Guergis and his wife.
The minutes attribute Ms. Turnbull-Guergis telling the NVCA executive which included New Tecumseth representative Joan Sutherland, “that a considerable amount of money has been spent on tree removal for the subject property. She questioned why she had not been informed that she would not be permitted to build on the property before she had made this investment.”
As reported here Friday, Wasaga Mayor Cal Patterson confirmed minutes of an April 17 NVCA board of directors meeting that noted mayor Guergis misquoted him to the executive when he suggested Mr. Patterson told Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources that “they have lost 50 per cent of their commercial development in the Town of Wasaga Beach because of the Conservation Authority Planning process.”
On September 2, mayor Guergis initiated a motion at Essa council that moved dissolution of the NVCA. It has since been deferred on two occasions, and scheduled to be tabled again Oct. 7.
“My NVCA quest started long before my wife even owned the property. I have been on them since 1990, but bought into (NVCA CEO Wayne) Wilson’s ‘we can work together’ promises that have gone nowhere,” noted mayor Guergis. “I think that the desire of those who put this out there is to one, diminish my credibility, and two, to waste my time defending myself on a non-conflict issue. Thus the work needed to see my motion move forward is not being done. For these reasons I am going to get back to work on what is important and will not deal with the (conflict) issue again.”