Here is a second submission from David Daniels, also published in the latest issue of that illusive publication, the Mud Creek News.
THE STRANGE CASE OF THE MISSING COMMITTEE
For fiscal year 2010-2011, the Town will spend an estimated $1,234,241 for law enforcement services, which made up almost 17% of the Town’s annual budget.
The Council established by Chapter 38 of its Bylaws a Police Services Advisory Committee (the “Committee”), “a body to provide advice and policy options to Council and the RCMP” concerning all policing matters. I could find no other document on the Town’s website which concerns the Town’s oversight or monitoring of the RCMP. The Town has a RCMP Advisory Board. There is nothing on the website to indicate that this is not the committee referred to in Ch. 38.
This Committee is required to meet, according to s. 5 of the bylaws at least four times a year. In addition, s. 5 states: “The Committee shall make a complete annual report to Town Council, and other reports from time to time as required.”
Among the Committee’s responsibilities as set out in s. 6 are:
To advise Council concerning all financial and budgetary matters relating to the provision of policing services.
To provide a forum for residents, taxpayers, business people, concerned citizens and groups to present their complaints, concerns, or quires to both Town Council and the RCMP.
To provide annually to Council and the NCO an evaluation of the policing services with the Town with reference to Policing Goal and Objectives as stated.”
The Town’s Committee policy, effective August 19, 1996 provides, among other things, that the “minutes of all Committee meetings are to be recorded . . . “ (s. 1.7) and that “Committee meetings shall be recorded in sufficient detail . . . to enable Council members to be reasonably conversant with the action required.” s. 1.14.
The Committee is presently chaired by Councilor Hugh Simpson, and has been so for the past several years.
If you want to find out what this Committee has been doing for the past several years, you’d be mostly out of luck. The following documents are posted on the Town’s website under the RCMP Advisory Board:
Meeting Agendas. One in 2009. None in 2010. One in 2011.
Minutes. Two in 2008. None in 2009. None in 2010. One in 2011 (which is misfiled in 2010. There is reference in these minutes to approval of minutes of a Feb 14, 2011 meeting).
Reports. One report in 2008. None in 2009. None in 2010. None in 2011.
Without RCMP Committee minutes or reports, one can only wonder how the Council has been evaluating the work of the RCMP. Has the RCMP Committee been meeting and no minutes taken or posted? Or have there been no meetings and no annual reports in violation of the Town’s bylaws. Can Councilor Simpson and Mayor Stead explain these apparent lapses in good governance?
David A. Daniels