Is there a change coming to the way Council handles CLOSED sessions ?

By Pepper Parr

March 24th, 2022



Getting any information about what takes place in a CLOSED session of Council is  a little like squeezing that last little bit of toothpaste out of the tube.

You run your fingers along the sides and squeeze to get the toothpaste to the top of the tube and onto the tooth brush.

City Solicitor Nancy Shea Nicol

That was the image that came to mind as I listened to Nancy Shea Nicol, City Solicitor, as she  explained to Council that she would have a report to them on what came out of the closes session on Tuesday.

Someone somewhere in city hall has decided that this going into CLOSED session on almost any matter had to come to an end – the public had a right to know what was taking up so much time in the legal department.

Nancy Shea Nicol is an old  school lawyer – say nothing or at least as little as possible.

There are occasions  when a CLOSED session is required for a property matter.

Ward 4 Councillor Lisa Kearns – wants a more transparent approach to CLOSED sessions of Council

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns wanted to know why the public could not at least have the address of the property that was being discussed.

There appear to be changes in the wind.  It would really be nice if the Mayor made a statement explaining that a change was necessary and setting out what the public had a right to know what the business of the city was about.

The city is in the process of buying the old Bateman High School property.

The School Board has said they want to sell because they have no use for the space.  They do however want to rent some of the space from the purchaser.

Brock University has been talking to the city about renting some of the space to set up a teacher training program.

The city wants to put some of the space to use as well; library and something for the seniors in the east end of the city.

These are all public organizations – why all the secrecy?

Old habits? It was just the way things were done?

A fresh wind appears to be blowing through the legal department.

About time.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.





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