On Tuesday March 13th, after their regular council session, Carleton Place Council held a regular meeting of the Policy Review Committee. Deputy-Clerk Stacey Blair brought forward a report on the need for creating a policy to cover council members’ use of municipal resources during an election campaign. This is mandated by provincial legislation and this year, municipalities must have such policies in force by May 1st. The aim is prevent any councilor from receiving benefit in an election campaign by virtue of their office and to clarify the rules for any candidate regarding town resources such as the town’s website or Facebook page for example. The committee approved of creating such a policy as directed by the province.
The topic of the Integrity Commissioner came up again, this time due to Lanark County’s decision to hire a firm to cover all municipalities. Under provincial law, each municipality is required to have contracts for such services by May 2019. County staff reviewed several firms and recommended the Kingston office of Cunningham, Swan, Carty, Little and Bonham which county council approved. Under the county’s plan each municipality would be responsible for their own costs. The Cunningham’s firm rates and terms came in at lower costs than those of the town’s current commissioner Robert Swayze who has a 30 day termination notice in his agreement with the town. After much discussion a recorded vote was called for by Antonakos and the committee agreed to execute a contract with Cunningham et al and to give termination notice to Swayze. Councilors Black and Redmond voted against the motion.