Egan questions inclusion of Guergis, Hughes
On CA review sub-committee
New Tecumseth Free Press Online April 13, 2010
New Tecumseth Ward 4 councillor Dennis Egan last night questioned why the mayor of Essa Township and Oro Medonte were appointed to a Simcoe County council sub-committee that will “research, review and report on the roles and responsibilities of the Conservation Authorities and the Environmental Association as they relate to the authorities and responsibilities of the municipalities,” according to a draft terms of reference.
The Conservation Authority Review Sub-committee was struck in February, and is made up of seven county councillors, who will be paid $212 per meeting, plus 52 cents per km. They had their first meeting March 23, and meet again on Thursday to approve the draft terms of reference set out below:
-Review and report on the legislative authority, interpretation of same, and the historical evolution of the conservation authorities;
-Review and report on the actual tasks and functions of the conservation authorities and environmental associations with a view to identifying any duplication and opportunity for more efficient processes to deliver the required and intended services; and
-Report and recommend service delivery and funding models and efficiency and consistency mechanisms to address the intent of the responsibilities and roles of the province, the municipalities and the conservation authorities.
Mr. Egan objects to the inclusion of Essa mayor David Guergis, and Oro Medonte mayor Harry Hughes on the committee for their campaign last fall to commence a process to disband the NVCA.
Both mayors made deputations to New Tecumseth in October, where Mayor Guergis explained his preference was to replace the NVCA with an association of municipalities as a way to streamline the planning process.
“I think that there are conflicts, simply because of the fact that one member in particular (Mr. Guergis) had been actively seeking support through all of the councils throughout the County that are affected by the NVCA, that they be pulled out, as well as the fact there is another member on that committee (Mr. Hughes) who has in the past voiced a continued discomfort being a member of the NVCA,” said Mr. Egan last night. “It appears as though this particular subcommittee for lack of a better word, is a stacked deck. And that for the essence of fairness, those members who do have a conflict should either remove themselves or at least invite members of the NVCA to sit on that committee. I just don’t think it’s fair that people who have been actively against the NVCA and who have gone out of their way to go to different councils to garner their support, be members of this subcommittee.”
Ward 3 councillor Barb Huson, who sits on the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority as New Tecumseth’s representative added, “clearly it’s more of a witch hunt.”
It’s expected that a motion will be tabled next Monday night setting out Mr. Egan’s concerns. Whether it will have majority support, is not yet clear. At this post, Essa mayor David Guergis and Simcoe County Warden Cal Patterson, the committee’s interim chair, had not yet responded to emailed requests for comments.