Do the different departments at City Hall bother to talk to each other?

By Pepper Parr

July 21st, 2023



On Tuesday of this week I sent a note to Blake Hurley, the newly minted City Solicitor. I had some concerns with just how a very draconian by law was passed without a Staff report on the document and nothing in the way of questions from members of Council.

I wrote:

City Solicitor Blake Hurley

The Trespass Act gives school boards the right to issue Trespass notices. It also gives the City of Toronto the right to issue Trespass notices on Nathan Phillips Square, which is land I believe is held in Trust by the City of Toronto.

Did the province ever give Burlington the right to issue Trespass Notices, and if it did, when was that right given?

Also, when the Public Conduct Policy bylaw was before the Corporate Services Strategy Risk and Accountability Standing Committee on June 26th Staff did not make a presentation. While the report came out of the Clerk’s Office, it was written by a member of your department. Is there a reason why there was no public presentation of the bylaw?

Finally, as Corporate counsel, did you review a draft of the bylaw before it was passed along to the City Clerk?

Pepper Parr, Publisher Burlington Gazette

We didn’t get a response from Hurley but we did get a response from the Communications department.

Kwab said

Kwab Ako- Adjei Director of Communications and Community Engagement

Pepper – Report CL-08-23 that recommends approval of the Public Conduct Policy and Trespass By-law was a report written by the City Clerk, not City Legal staff, and was on the regular agenda and approved by Committee and Council in public session. However, all reports are reviewed by Legal Services. And not all reports have staff presentations.

Kwab is correct – it was on the June 26th Standing Committee Agenda where it got less than three minutes of air time. When it got to the City Council meeting on July 11th,  it was listed as a Consent item and not a word was said. It was passed along with a number of other items.

What both the Communications people, that being Kwab Ako- Adjei and the Legal department, now under the command of Blake Hurley were not aware of is that at the June 26th Standing Committee City Clerk Kevin Arjoon said:

Burlington City Clerk Kevin Arjoon

“ I just want to say that clerk’s office has six reports on this agenda. We outsource this one. So Robert Ryan in legal services, he’s one of the solicitors there, did a lot of the drafting for this. a lot of the work, a lot of the consultation internally with staff as well. He’s done a lot of great work and you can see that in this report. So I just want to take a shout out for Robert. He did the balance of the most of those reports. So it wasn’t clerks really but just want to clarify that. Thank you, Robert.

We reported recently on just what that bylaw does. A link to that report is set out below as well as a scathing delegation by Anne Marsden.

Say what you will about Marsden, she has been on more than one occasion been very right in the past.

Related news stories:

Marsden delegates – scathing comments.

What does the Public Conduct Policy mean ?

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2 comments to Do the different departments at City Hall bother to talk to each other?

  • We only know of two trespass notices, one went to the publiser and one went to the Marsdens. The publisher got ignored and wrong informtion in response to his enquiries.We got a response from the Clerkf “Mr.Hurley and Mr. Commisso have no appetite for a .meeting.” Warning Anne’s loss of appetite this winter has caused both of us some very difficult times that see serious issses that may never be overcome,except through God’s grace.

  • Pat Brod

    ‘Different day, same stuff’; ‘the more things change the more they stay the same’; ‘old face in new role and it’s same old, same old’. The clichés go on and on. The staff arrangements and practices at COB are really laughable – mediocre players in a very small pond doing their thing, badly.

    As a friend of mine once said “the infighting is so very bad because the stakes are so very small”.