Town gently chastised over closed-door NDSS strategy meetings

Marc MacDonald

A complaint that the NDSS Strategy Committee held improper private meetings has been upheld by a company that investigates such claims.

Amberley Gavel, a company which assists municipal governments in Ontario with closed meeting procedure investigations, reported to council that, while the Strategy Committee breached open meetings legislation, the definition of "committee" required the most attention.

"The failure to apply the intention of Council to the NDSS Strategy Committee . . . resulted in the committee failing to comply with the closed meeting requirements," stated the report. "It is recommended that the town's procedure bylaw be reviewed."

Councillor Gary Zalepa, who chairs the NDSS Strategy Committee, noted Monday night that the committee was "not acting in bad faith" when they had their meeting and that it appeared there was, "more remiss in the town's bylaw" than anything else.

Zalepa said the committee retains the right to discuss legal strategies in-camera before presenting that strategy to the public.

Based on the finding, the report suggested that the composition of all current committees be reviewed by council to determine their status under the Municipal Act.

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