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Reader letter: Disappointing and likely costly turn of events in Amherstburg


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Re: Deferred development charges for a town employee, a missing report and now a possible audit, by Anne Jarvis, Nov. 27

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Finally, an Amherstburg town councillor or two have confirmed what residents have suspected. We now know three senior administrators were dismissed when they were escorted out of town hall.

I can only hope there was more behind all this than the CAO, perhaps with the knowledge of other terminated staff, taking advantage of a provincial government program available to everyone and which the town had no ability to refuse.

I hope these terminations were based on just cause.

This program does not eliminate the development charges incurred when a building permit is issued, but only spreads out the payment over five years. If there was not more to this than that, I believe the taxpayers of Amherstburg may be on the hook for substantial damages by the manner in which these terminations took place.

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I do not think audits of completed contracts or internal controls will help at this point.

I feel it is common knowledge in Amherstburg some councillors in the current and previous council, with the urging of some residents, have been itching to terminate the CAO.

What a shame. It was only a year or so ago he was found to be highly effective by a third-party review.

The Dillon Report, which was not known about until earlier this month, was not part of consideration when the senior staff were terminated. I suspect the past council authorized the report or there will be some conflicting evidence on this issue.

Why it was not disclosed when received will be an item of interesting conjecture.

I used to praise the talent of Amherstburg’s senior administration and job the CAO did in building this team. In my opinion they were best of any town in Essex County.

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I suppose the next council, when they approve with distaste the settlement of the litigation recommended by the town’s lawyers, will blame the prior council. That seems to be how it always goes down.

In the meantime, I fear the town will struggle with a depleted administration and ultimately the residents will pay the bills these actions will incur.

Gary Wellman, Amherstburg

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