Something fishy about the police headquarters vote


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Just call them the king and queen of the flip-flop. We’re talking, of course, about Ald. Lori Baldwin-Sands and Ald. Mark Cosens and which way they will lean Monday night when city council votes on the latter’s motion dealing with a new police headquarters.
Last week, Cosens filed a notice of motion that the city “build a new, modern, state-of-the-art police facility” adjacent to the Timken Centre.
The wording of the motion is a flip-flop-flip for Cosens.
We’ll elaborate.

“No question they are starved for space, cramped quarters and dealing with an outdated building,” opined Cosens in his 2010 municipal election campaign video.
“The building is of such construction, to try to renovate the current building would be nearly impossible without tearing the whole thing down and starting from scratch.”
In May of last year, Cosens pulled a 180 when he proclaimed, “But regardless of what this (an environmental assessment of the existing police site in the Colin McGregor Justice Building) comes up with, unless there’s volcanoes going up in the middle of the ground, it wouldn’t alter my decision on what we’re doing here (have the police stay where they are.)”
Hmmm, so where have these volcanoes sprouted up that compelled Cosens to now push for a spiffy, new police HQ?
But wait, there’s more.
Cosens is going to vote against his own motion on Monday, completing the flip-flop-flip-flop.
So, does that make him a member of the large-mouth bass family.
It’s getting so you can’t believe a word that comes out of the wannabe mayor’s mouth.
As for Queen Baldwin-Sands, she spent much of the run-up to the 2011 provincial vote reminding voters she was the daughter of a police officer, while thanking members of the force and fire department for their support.
And which way do you think she is likely to vote on Monday?

FUDGING THE NUMBERS?
While four full-time and four part-time transcriptionists at St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital are getting the heave-ho at the end of May, vice-president Malcolm Hopkins is the beneficiary of a $38,000 hike in his 2012 salary, according to Ontario’s public sector salary disclosure.
To re-cap, Hopkins garnered $154,763.83 in remuneration in 2011. That salary blossomed to $192,509.99 last year. An impressive pat on the back.
So what did Hopkins do to earn a stipend increase in excess of 20%?
Here is the full explanation, as emailed to us from Marianne Campbell, who is the executive assistant to CEO Paul Collins.
Why an EA is dealing with the sensitive matter of Hopkins’ salary is a matter for another day.
Here goes.
“In winter 2012, STEGH’s ‘transforming care’ initiative was signaling that significant changes in
management were required,” writes Campbell.
“One result,” continues Campbell, “was the elimination of a layer of management positions, for a savings of more than $400,000 per year. As an intended consequence, the STEGH executive leaders role significantly evolved to take on direct accountability for patient-care delivery management (this is unique in Canadian hospitals).
“After reviewing length of service, performance/nature of duties factors and benchmarking the salaries of similarly situated VP/CFOs in other hospitals, the Hospital felt it was appropriate to adjust VP Malcolm Hopkins salary within the parameters of the existing pay range, which is also consistent with other similar hospital VP/CFOs.”
“The figure reported on the 2012 Public Sector Salary Disclosure (PSSD) for VP Malcolm Hopkins
is higher than actual salary. Actual salary for Malcolm Hopkins was increased within range for this role to $177,000.
“The figure reported on the 2012 PSSD includes payment for a consecutive expansion of accountabilities beginning in 2010 that was withheld pending review of comparable Hospital VP salaries.”
So, in other words, the hospital appears to be playing cutesy when it comes to full disclose of Hopkins’ remuneration under the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, which requires the hospital to disclose annually the names, positions, salaries and total taxable benefits of employees paid $100,000 or more in a calendar year.

PATIENTLY WAITING
On April 5, we requested an interview with a spokesperson at Accentus, the Ottawa-based firm that will take over transcription services at STEGH next month.
We’re still waiting, although City Scope did receive a response from Nick Noreau, regional vice-president of Nuance, the U.S. firm that acquired Accentus late last year.
“I forwarded your email to Michael Carnrite the VP for Canada,” Noreau wrote back on April 9. “I will speak to Mike today and someone will get back to you soon.”
He wrote further, “Can you please describe your intent for the interview? I saw the article (the initial story about the elimination of jobs at STEGH) and it seemed to capture the essence of what has occurred.”
I guess he hasn’t yet read the follow-up story with an Accentus independent contractor in London documenting shortcomings of the service provided to hospitals. Read the post here
Maybe that will prompt a reaction.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“As a patient there recently I noticed an immense change in staff as though they are abused and scared and hate being there, scared to do their jobs and angry about the way they are treated and it comes out in the “excellent patient health care experience” as “worst patient experience in terms of relationships and energy and heart in the hospital”. It is like trying to heal in hell.”
Times-Journal reader ‘Kay’ in a web posting this week on St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital outsourcing its medical transcription service to Ottawa-based Accentus.

City Scope appears Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be emailed to ian.mccallum@sunmedia.ca.

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One thought on “Something fishy about the police headquarters vote

  1. AS THE WORM TURNS
    The next act in this charade and possible the pièce de résistance would be for Smiling Sammy to put forward a motion for deferment, until his replacement is aboard the good ship Lollipop, and that it be passed.

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