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Clearview FOI authority appointed

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In Clearview
Jan 23rd, 2011
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By Joanne Saunders Simcoe.com Jan 21, 2011
STAYNER – Councillors Thom Paterson and Brent Preston were apparently the only two members of Clearview Township council convinced that Freedom of Information requests should be dealt with by the clerk rather than the planning department.
Their suggestion to redirect FOI requests to the clerk’s office was outvoted at the Jan. 10 council meeting.
The motion, moved by Councillor Deborah Bronee and seconded by Councillor Shawn Davidson, was carried, appointing the director of Planning, Development and Information Services to deal with FOI and Protection of Privacy issues.
“It’s a delicate issue,” said Councillor Paterson. “We as a council should protect our staff members.” He indicated there could be a public perception of bias. “It’s not a matter of delegation, it’s a matter of people because it’s contentious.”
Councillor Preston said there was not enough information to consider an alternative but that he felt the natural place for this to reside should be the clerk’s office.
Councillor Doug Measures noted that FOI requests go through the clerk’s office in other municipalities but said that the person who signs off should be the person responsible for the information. He concluded, “I think it’s fair to have the (planning) director responsible.”
Deputy Mayor Alicia Savage said, “I don’t want to give the director any more work.” She expressed concern about “who’s doing the work and who’s on the hook for it.” However, she noted, “we should pass this resolution tonight” in the interest of the continuing business of the municipality.
Councillor Paterson said he’d rather see the issue go back for more discussion.

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