• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Typical Guergis spin

In Candidates / Election 2018
Oct 21st, 2018

from Bill French

Since there are still some people that have not lived through the tyranny of the Tony Guergis regime over 8 years ago, I can understand them asking questions on the subjects put forth in his rambling school yard bullying and name calling Election Ads this week. I am also not surprised at the viciousness, distortion of facts and misinformation he listed in this week’s Springwater News. Kindly read my response below, where I try to respond to his ridiculous accusations and assertions through another lens.

I agree there were high legal bills which dealt with the backlog of OMB appeals as a result of a direct lack of leadership by Guergis when he was Mayor in 2008 and rammed the Midhurst Secondary Plan through without adequate public input resulting in numerous OMB Appeals. They came from a variety of landowners outside his purported circle of friends in the Midhurst Landowners Group. Since he didn’t like some of the letters to the editor during his reign of terror, he cancelled the contract with Springwater News and shifted the Planning notices to The Barrie Advance where you probably would have found more of his cronies. That was convenient, as the notices for the public meetings for the Midhurst Secondary Plan were posted in the Advance not the Springwater News and many people missed the notice. It appears the meetings were also purposely scheduled during the vacation months so there would be little public outcry. He did a similar thing with the Hillsdale high density developments and left the local citizen group CROH (Concerned Residents of Hillsdale) out in the cold at the OMB when they thought he and Council were on side, resisting the approvals. Now that is calculated.

As far as my Compliance Audit saga, I have paid all my lawyer’s bills. The Township and Applicant, not me, are responsible for all Township legal costs past March 2016 as that was when I was prepared to argue my Judicial Review. Yes there is a court date for Nov 2 and since it was the election campaign period when I received notice, my personal commentary, as I have provided throughout the ordeal, could not be published.

However, as a reminder, my errors and omissions with my 2014 Filing were bookkeeping in nature and just over $1,000 and there were no hidden expenses or donations. I was still about $5,000 under the spending limit. Here is what the Froese Forensic auditors said when questioned by the committee.

1. They found no unfair advantage or undue influence by me during the 2014 campaign.

2. They stated that I was totally transparent and the irregularities were in plain sight and not hidden or obscured.

3. They found no issues of integrity with my conduct during the campaign.

4. They commented that both myself and spouse fully cooperated with the audit process and provided detailed records to respond to all questions.

5. There was no intent to mislead or mispresent the incomes or expenses. You may also want to check out this recent story which includes some questions I answered. It has some most interesting information that might help you understand the situation better. https://aware-simcoe.ca/2018/10/french-answers-compliance-audit-questions/

There have been numerous Freedom of Information Requests (MFIPPA) from various parties regarding shared documents with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in early 2015 and contrary to Mr. Guergis’ tale and innuendo, nothing untoward was found. Obviously Mr. Guergis is the agent for uncontrolled urban sprawl and would have never thought of meeting with the Ministry to reconsider the extent of the Midhurst developments, as I did.

Direction from Council was provided by resolution for me to talk about growth issues in Springwater with the Ministry and that is what I did with Mr. Allen present. He makes mention of a letter to the developers about the Township proceeding in a timely fashion. We definitely sent a letter to illustrate that the Township was not causing any delays or being obstructive but simply following the process and ensuring all the I’s were dotted and T’s crossed. We were so expeditious that we are now at the end of 2018 and there are still no final approvals on the MSP as there is outstanding work to be done and approvals required from the Ministry before any shovel hits the ground.

This is a typical Guergis spin on something of no relevance.

You can review the various letters and submissions on the Township website under MSP Timeline in the mid 2015 year. Kindly note the important letters to the Ministry expressing concern about the Ministry’s special MSP rule and concerns about the impact on the social economic and environmental wellbeing of Springwater.

Guergis with his comments about cutting costs and uploading and financing from higher levels of government shows that his 8 year absence and lack of attention to the changing shape of Township and County services and government ministry relationships, along with governing party changes, that he is definitely unfit for a return to office as he does not understand the relationships as they have evolved.

Speak to any higher level elected official about their relationship with Mr. Teflon. Guergis has no real successful business experience as any kind of executive and continues to think everything is simply politics and not business. He states “get Council back to a part time board of directors”. That alone tells the true story of his lack of understanding of how local Council should work. He missed the part in the Municipal Act that states the Mayor is the CEO and Council’s only statutory officer. Without ever serving in such a capacity in his career, I fully understand why he doesn’t get it.

Do you want a part time CEO running your corporation? He obviously doesn’t understand that we are operating a multimillion dollar service business at the Township. It sounds like he just wants to show up and rubber stamp whatever might come forward. That is definitely not a leader or even a half-baked manager. He also misunderstands that Council is not a Board of Directors but that it is the Legislative Arm of local government and charged with responding to the needs of their constituents by setting policy, establishing initiatives and providing direction to Senior Management to deliver the agreed projects.

One of Guergis’ comments in a recent Ad suggested that staff are leaving in droves. I can assure you that if you speak to any of the current management they appreciate the clear direction being provided by Council under my leadership and our support of training and education is much more significant than past practice. I always agreed that investment in you, the people, is quite rewarding and the return on investment comes back many fold.

The relationship and communication between management, staff and Council is the best its been since John Brown was Mayor. Again, I am sure Mr. Guergis found one employee that may have left for some reason and is now spinning quite a yarn. But again that is Mr. Guergis’ true colours. I do hope you find this helpful so that you might be able sort out the chaff from wheat. Here is what true Leadership is all about. http://www.billfrench.ca/?utm_source=frenchformayor#video I ask you to please choose the proven Vision. Leadership and Action of the last 4 years and Re-Elect French for Mayor on October 22 and get rid of this nonsense, hopefully for the last time. www.frenchformayor.ca

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