Good news for those contemplating a run for office in the 2010 municipal election.
A training seminar entitled C. P. O. will be offered on Tuesday, Sept. 8 beginning at 7 p.m. in the Carnegie Room at St. Thomas Public Library.
Lecturing at the event is city historian Ray Galloway, although the info sheet contained in Monday’s city council agenda includes no credentials pertaining to his relevant political background.
We do remember Galloway was the driving force behind an unsuccessful move in 2004 to pardon Fred Temple, son of Fred Temple Sr., the killer of St. Thomas police officer Colin McGregor, slain in the line of duty on May 7, 1934.
In his info sheet, Galloway notes the C. P. O. plan includes discussions on commitment, planning and organization. Also to be covered are fundraising, pamphlet preparation and distribution.
Guest speaker is Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman.
Gee, you would think with two high profile politicos in Steve Peters and Joe Preston we could have gone local for this portion of the evening.
The resource person for the training session is none other than Mayor Cliff Barwick.
Galloway notes a multiple-choice written examination will be required and a follow-up seminar is planned for the spring of 2010, “to see how everyone is doing.”
Registration must be done in person at the library front desk.
Sounds like the type of keen political insight available at this seminar might be of value to some of our current members of city council.
Apparently, they will not be able to attend as a council meeting is scheduled at the very same time.
Hmm, how does Galloway plan to make his resource person available to interested parties that evening?
Appears a little work on planning and organization may be in order for the seminar.
The fee, by the way, is in keeping with the apparent lack of direct political experience by the seminar’s lecturer.
In other words, no charge.
CITY SCOPE FLASHBACK
During the summer heat of 2006, the city purchase card debacle had reached its zenith and then mayor Jeff Kohler’s policy review committee was struck with a mandate to tighten up existing policy and spending parameters.
Under the direction of chairman Ald. Barwick, committee members put the bite on food and alcohol purchases, fine-tuned the statement approval process and encouraged department heads to review use with a view to reducing the number of cards in circulation.
After three meetings, the committee was wound down after wrestling with an issue of confidentiality raised by Ald. Tom Johnston’s evidence of at least two cardholder purchases of a personal nature for which the city had yet to be reimbursed.
Council voted down a motion by Johnston to obtain a legal opinion on confidentiality concerns dealing with the expense irregularities.
Kohler, Ald. Marie Turvey, Ald. Bill Aarts, Ald. Terry Shackelton and Ald. Heather Jackson-Chapman opposed Johnston’s request,
At the time, Johnston was accused of orchestrating a witch hunt.
However, claims the purchase card system was never abused were once and for all dismissed as a result of the committee’s recommendations adopted by council.
A T-J editorial on July 18, 2006, noted that now, “through the withdrawal of support from five members of council, the review committee has been undermined.”
Incidently, those same five members of council earlier that year voted to defer a forensic audit into credit card use.
The editiorial continued, “without the ability to seek a simple legal opinion, an option council pursues regularly as it undertakes day-to-day business, chairman Barwick has no recourse but to terminate his probe into purchase card expenses.
“The result is there will now forever be a shadow of doubt cast over the spending habits of the 47 cardholders during the past three years.”
It can be argued the credit card kerfuffle would go on to play a key role in the municipal election just four months later.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO …
The following city staff reports seem to have gone missing in action: CASO St. Thomas Trans-Canada Trail; Northside Arena environmental assessment cost; Timken Centre fundraising update from chairman Hilary Vaughan and the proposed public/private partnership between the city and Faith Baptist Church.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I believe there are few higher callings than public service. I still feel it would be a great privilege to represent the people of this riding in government some day. We’ll see how this adventure called life turns out in the coming years.”
Suzanne van Bommel annouces she will not seek the federal Liberal nomination in Elgin-Middlesex-London in a possible fall election call.
City Scope appears every Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.