Reader questions council’s spending priorities OPINION

Why does it feel like our mayor and four of our councillors are misusing our tax dollars? Surely there must be some other reason why Mayor Guibord and Councillors Campeau, Henrie, Choinière and Félio passed a resolution at the August 19, 2013 Council meeting, over the objections of the other Councillors and several vocal citizens present, to terminate publication of the Vox Populi (the municipal notices) in the Vision newspaper, and instead have it published in a newspaper called La Tribune de Prescott-Russell. The Vision, by the Mayor’s own admission, has had the contract to print Vox Populi for 14 years, and he says it is now time to give someone else a chance. That someone else is Sylvie Riopel, the publisher of La Tribune de Prescott-Russell, which has been published only once since 2011. Was there a valid tendering process? Was there a cost analysis? Was there an analysis of quality and service? When asked at the Council meeting, the Mayor could not provide that information. Citizens expect, and sound management practices demand, that our tax dollars be spent so as to obtain the best possible value (bang for the buck), based on decisions that are timely, relevant and reliable. This is why we have things like tendering procedures and cost/benefit analyses. “Giving someone else a chance” does not qualify as a criterion or standard in this context. My analysis, based on the limited information I have, is that Vision prints 28,100 copies, the population of Clarence-Rockland is 21,624, and the only source of information about municipal notices is the Vision, which has been printing these for 14 years. The Vision is dis- tributed with the weekly drop bag of local ads. The Mayor claims that this means that some people do not receive it. So for 14 years the municipality has not been properly informing

its residents? And for three of those years this Council has allowed that situation to stand?! Only a single issue of the Tribune has been published, and that was in 2011. It has no track record and no readers. The mayor claims that since it will be sent out in the mail, more people will receive and, presumably, read it. Based on what evidence? At what cost? And if postal workers go on strike? The Vision is a widely read and discussed paper that is published by Édition André Pa- quette, which manages seven newspapers. The Tribune has one person’s name associated with it. Who is this person? What is her track record? All we know so far is that she printed one issue of the Tribune in 2011, and that she recently severely reprimanded Le Droit for publishing the truth. Needless to say, Le Droit bluntly dismissed her demand for retraction. If there’s concern about citizens receiving the municipal notices, perhaps they should be posted online, as are the municipal council meetings, agendas, resolutions, minutes and by-laws. Unless Mayor Guibord provides answers to these questions, the citizens of the City of Clarence-Rockland whose tax dollars he is tasked with administering, will have to conclude that he and the councillors who voted with him on this issue are spending our money without regard for efficiency and effectiveness, and are failing to ensure probity. And that would merit a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs to request an investigation into what exactly is driving their spending decisions. Suzanne Normoyle Rockland


School district shuffles vice-principal seats

lic School becomes Tagwi Secondary’s new vice-principal. Robert Bradley, one of Tagwi’s teachers is promoted to the vice-principal office at Russell High School. Louise Leblanc-Mazur leaves the vice- principal’s office at Pleasant Corners Public School to become vice-principal at Planta- genet Public School. Cary Kronwald, a former teacher at Lag- gan Public School, becomes the new vice- principal at Pleasant Corners.All appoint- ments take effect Sept. 1.


The week before the official start of the new school year and there will be some new faces at the main office of schools in the Upper Canada District School Board. Lyle Ferguson moves from vice-principal for Tagwi Secondary to become Cornwall Collegiate’s vice-principal. Dominique Bertrand at Plantagenet Pub-



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