Only with full disclosure can council best serve


At the Feb. 14 meeting, St. Thomas council put the boot to adopting a ward system for municipal elections.

In a 5-3 vote, only Ald. Jeff Kohler, Ald. Sam Yusuf and Ald. Lori Baldwin-Sands supported a motion to proceed with establishing such a system in time for the 2014 municipal vote.

Mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman explained the majority of council is in opposition to a ward system for St. Thomas because only two similar-sized municipalities in Ontario have such a structure.
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Curbing debate now prescribed for health unit meetings?


It was quite the mugging this week over at Elgin St. Thomas Public Health. Attempts by Central Elgin Mayor Tom Marks to raise uncomfortable questions at Wednesday’s board meeting were hijacked at the pass by the city contingent on the seven-member board.

Although Marks didn’t follow the prescribed protocol for new business, silencing a fellow board member seeking answers to the same questions asked numerous times in this corner illustrates the depths to which the health unit has sunk.

So, to what exactly was Marks seeking clarification?
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Elgin trucking firm set to take on T.0.


A transport company that says Toronto is blowing $25 million by rejecting its bid to haul garbage is taking out ads to persuade councillors to accept what it’s offering.

The newspaper and radio ads will run Monday, the first day of a two-day session at which council will decide on awarding a 10-year contract to truck waste to the Green Lane landfill near St. Thomas, Ont.

The works committee has recommended awarding the contract to Verspeeten Cartage Ltd., which bid $132 million. That was after city staff had disqualified a bid from ECL Carriers, which said it could do the job for $107 million.

Gregory Rumble, who heads ECL’s parent company, Contrans Income Fund, says his firm should not have been rejected. “We feel we have been disqualified unfairly and it’s going to cost the taxpayers of the City of Toronto $25 million over the next 10 years. That’s a lot of money to be thrown to the side.”
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