Saturday, August 4, 2007

Haldimand "Another Chat with the Mayor"

As Council is preparing for their first council meeting after a 6-week break, I once again have to wonder where certain council members come up with their ideas. I do believe that before you start reading this article, you will need to make yourself a cup of coffee !

As I was going through the agenda for the Tuesday August 7th, 2007 Council in Committee meeting, I came across the following resolution on the agenda. As I couldn’t believe what I was reading to be remotely possible, I called Mayor Trainer to ask what this was all about…….more detail about this later.

The following is the resolution being presented at council Tuesday August 7, 2007, and the following week Monday August 13, 2007 this will be written in stone with the second vote at Council of the Whole, if we don’t stop this!

Resolution Re: Mayors Office Correspondence Management

WHEREAS THE Mayors’ office receives a considerable volume of correspondence through written or electronic form;

AND WHEREAS THE MAYOR has acknowledged in the past that management of this correspondence, especially e-mails has been overwhelming to the point where many e-mails may go unanswered of otherwise not responded to;

AND WHEREAS the management of this correspondence is critical to the effective operation of the County;

AND WHEREAS the dissemination of this correspondence to the remainder of Council as well as the Clerk is if utmost importance to successfully conduct the business of the Corporation;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED;


THAT ALL correspondence sent and received through the Mayor’s office including all e-mail addressed to the Mayor by title or name, be copied to all councilors as well as the County Clerk;

AND THAT the Mayor’s assistant implement this direction for all hard copy correspondence;

AND THAT the General Manager of Corporate Services through the information Systems Division ensure that all e-mail sent to the Mayor by title or name, is automatically copied to all Councillors and the County Clerk;

AND THAT any questions or concerns from Councillors regarding specific correspondence to the Mayor’s office be first directed to the Mayor for a response and if required, the matter be referred to Council in Committee under the "Inquires, Announcements and Concerns of Councillors" part of the agenda.

WOW that is certainly a mouth full, and a lot of effort went into this resolution by Councilor Sloat, although I am unsure as to the wording of the resolution, whether this was solely CAO Bill Pearce, or a combination of both, or a combination of a few Council Members. Regardless I would think that there must have been some kind of meeting? A meeting that the Mayor once again was not "privy" to!

I am really trying hard not to be too "hard" on certain council members, but if you look around "guys" there is a lot of serious issues in Haldimand County! This is not a "Priority" that needs to be passed in a week! "All" members of council and the "Clerks office" and "Karen General" do not have the "right" to scrutinize "ALL" correspondence that comes to the "Mayor Elects Office"! Stick to doing your own "JOBS".

Now back to my call to Mayor Trainer, as I said earlier I called the Mayor to ask, "what is the deal about this resolution"? Well the answer surprised me, as I didn’t think that council would go this far, but they have! I should have known better as it is becoming more relevant that "certain members of council" are relentless in their personal charge to undermine the Mayor’s position!

Common practice in finalizing the agenda is a review meeting with CAO Bill Pearce, County Clerk Janis Lankester and Mayor Trainer, on the Thursday before the agenda goes out to Council Members. Last Thursday in the agenda meeting Mayor Trainer noticed on Page 3 of the agenda under Corporate Services, under "other", a resolution called "Mayors office correspondence management report". Mayor Trainer asked what this was regarding; CAO BILL Pearce informed her that this was a resolution that Councilor Buck Sloat is leading the charge of on behalf of members of Council, representing council’s position. CAO Bill Pearce was asked to write up the resolution for the council meeting, at the time of this meeting the resolution had not been written yet! Up until this time, I had presumed that "resolutions" were actually written by "council members", I was mistaken!

According to Mayor Trainer when she received her agenda on Friday she read the resolution for the first time! As you can imagine she is not pleased with this resolution. Mayor Trainer has a few calls into council members regarding this resolution but as of the time of our conversation, she had not heard back from anyone!

Here are a few reasons why I personally feel that this resolution needs to be put where it belongs………in a "garbage can".

I have no "representative" on Council! Reason! My Council Member Does Not Return My Phone Calls"! I live in Ward 2, and on many of an occasion I have called Councilor Buck Sloat, but he does not return my phone calls! So I have had to burden the Mayor, as she is my only "representative" on council. Now in saying that, just maybe there are a few other residents out there that also have "No Representation in their Ward", so they as well have to call or e-mail the Mayor! Hence maybe that is why sometimes she becomes a little overwhelmed with e-mails. But for any of us out there that have to deal "directly" through the Mayor because we are not "represented" we understand that it may take a bit longer to get a return phone call, or e-mail! We don’t have a problem with this, so why would Councilor Buck Sloat have a problem? Maybe he should "answer" his "own" calls!

When I contact my council "representative" which happens to be the "Mayor", I have a right to do that "confidentially"!

WHEREAS THE Mayors’ office receives a considerable volume of correspondence through written or electronic form; This statement is ridiculous, every "Mayor" in any Municipality would have the same situation, this does not give anyone the right to "scrutinize" or decide other the "Mayor" (person addressed to) what course of action is to be taken.

AND WHEREAS the management of this correspondence is critical to the effective operation of the County; This statement is a crock of s..t! When was the last time we heard that an e-mail that was a little late in receiving an answer, "effected the operation" of the County! Believe me if this had ever been the case, Councilor Sloat would have already informed the public one way or another!

AND THAT any questions or concerns from Councillors regarding specific correspondence to the Mayor’s office be first directed to the Mayor for a response and if required, the matter be referred to Council in Committee under the "Inquires, Announcements and Concerns of Councillors" part of the agenda. Give me a break, do you think for one moment that the correspondence would be directed to the Mayor first? This resolution is proof in the pudding, the Mayor didn’t know what this resolution was all about until she received her agenda at the same time as the rest of council! If this resolution goes through the Mayor would receive "surprises" every council meeting!

AND THAT the General Manager of Corporate Services through the information Systems Division ensure that all e-mail sent to the Mayor by title or name, is automatically copied to all Councillors and the County Clerk; Oh this one is really special, now a staff member, currently Karen General, will receive as well all the Mayor’s e-mails and she will ensure that all council members receive the information. It seems that at the start of this resolution that even the Mayor’s assistant won’t be trusted to do this part, which is to forward all "e-mail" information to all! Notice the part where it says by "title or name", they covered it all! Where will Karen General find the time to do all this additional work? Well looks like a request for a "raise" coming!

AND THAT the Mayor’s assistant implement this direction for all hard copy correspondence; Well look at that, they have all hard copy covered (mail) as well. Thank goodness they have shared the ownership of the Mayor’s office, by sharing the duties of making sure that "all" have "all" the information!

AND WHEREAS the dissemination of this correspondence to the remainder of Council as well as the Clerk is if utmost importance to successfully conduct the business of the Corporation; Well that says it in a "nutshell", "dissemination"…..spread the news!!!

Now if they are really serious about implementing this resolution, they should include the following;

AND WHERAS all e-mail, and hard copy correspondence that is sent to "all" members of "Council", should be in return sent to "all" other members of "council", and the "Mayor’s office", and such "e-mails" and hard copy correspondence be in return "sent" to "all" heads of staff, as this is "critical" to successfully conduct the business of the "Corporation".

There is a reason why we have Wards in Haldimand County. You vote for your "elected official" and the "Mayor" once every 4 years. Each Ward Council Member has their "own" e-mail address, as well as the "Mayor". Each member of Council is "responsible" for addressing the "concerns" of their "wards" at Council Meetings. If this "resolution" is adopted, the only elected "official" that it affects is the "Mayor", why? I believe that certain "council members" need to get a grip! The "PUBLIC" votes for the Mayor, start "respecting" the "public" which by the way is whom "you as a council member" represent!

If you don’t agree with the above resolution, the following is a list of our current council members, at this point I guess you could just contact any one of these individuals, as all "boundaries" seem to have been removed!

Leroy Bartlett 905 961 4834, lbartlett@haldimandcounty.on.ca
Lorne Boyko 905 774 6309, lboyko@haldimandcounty.on.ca
Tony Dalimonte 905 768 1260, tdalimonte@haldimandcounty.on.ca
Craig Grice 905 961 1264, cgrice@haldimandcounty.on.ca
Don Ricker 905 774 4661, dricker@haldimandcounty.on.ca
Buck Sloat 905 961 3270, bsloat@haldimandcounty.on.ca
Mayor Trainer 905 318 5932, Ext 201, mayor@haldimandcounty.on.ca

Sugar Coat this all you want, but bottom line is this, once approved "Council as a whole will be our Mayor"!

17 comments:

  1. Donna it is amazing what this council slips through. Councilor Sloat should be asked to resign immediately!

    CAO Bill Pearce should be fired immediately! He had the opportunity to inform the Mayor as to what the resoltuion was all about, after all he was writing it! Instead he chose to not support her postion as Mayor, and let her find out on her own.

    What about other council members, when are they going to stop this.

    We need a higher level of government to come in and clean house.

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  2. I also live in Ward 2, and Donna Sloat doesn't return my phone calls either.

    We all know that especially Sloat, doesn't respect or even like the Mayor, he is only trying to make her look like she isn't doing her job.

    Like you, I also have to call the Mayor.

    Concerned resident in Fisherville

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  3. To Haldimand County Councilors:

    As the Mayor struggles to keep the pressure on the bungling Provincial government to resolve the DCE debacle the councilors appear to sit idly by while the hyenas circle the Mayor for the kill.

    Council, address what's important to the people of Haldimand County, that is, resolution to native land claims in particular DCE.

    Councilor Sloat appears to be trying to stick a burr under the Mayors saddle to railroad a determined person.

    It appears councilor Sloats resolution to be presented at council August 7, 2007 is to place the Mayor under a magnifying glass. Is this legal???

    My message to council, get on with county business and work with the Mayor and quit taking orders from the CAO and the General Manager of Corporate Services.

    I demand confidentiality in dealing with the Mayor or my councilor.

    Scrap Sloats ill conceived resolution.

    Merlyn Kinrade

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  4. Donna we have had our fair share of nonsense in this County.

    We as residents have been asking council to stick to their own jobs more than once.

    They never listened to us before, and they won't listen now.

    Sloat is the trouble maker! I agree with the above.

    SLOAT RESIGN, you are bad news.

    Sam from Cayuga

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  5. Donna:
    Prior to the last election the council was backbiting each other and the Mayor. I really had hoped that change in personnel would put a stop to this behaviour, however it would appear that the return councillors have caused rot in the new. The people elected a mayor and councillors to look after the affairs of the county, not to sit and backbit. Buck Sloat was going to run against Marie prior to the election and found he had little support to do so. So what now, backstab the mayor? interfer with her ability to do her job? try to control the rest or council? try to put down the Mayor? (I have found in business, if you have to put down coworkers to look good, it is quite likely you are not doing your job.)Council should remember they were voted into their jobs to work together, collectively, for the good of the county, not to work against each other for their own good.
    Donna, continue to keeping an eye on our elected officials, it would appear we cannot trust them to work for US.

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  6. Thank you for your comments. I am trying to get some people to council on Tuesday. Please pass on the following information.

    Thanks Donna

    Haldimand Council in Committee Meeting
    August 7th, 2007
    Council Chambers
    45 Munsee St. Cayuga
    Council Meeting starts at 9:30am

    Regarding the Resolution on the table; Mayor’s Office Correspondence Management. You should be in Council chambers by 9:30am, as I am unsure as to when this item will come up, I am almost sure it will be before lunch break.

    Normally you would have to request through the Clerk’s Office to speak at a Council in Committee meeting regarding an issue on the Agenda.

    This Resolution before Council has never been presented at a Council Meeting in the past, you should be able to ask to speak to Council regarding this issue. If you can give Mayor Trainer a heads up that you would like to speak on this issue, she can ask the Council to vote on it.

    If Council’s vote is a majority vote you will have 10 minutes to speak.

    Let's try and rally some support for Mayor Trainer.
    Thanks Donna

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  7. Madam Mayor and Council,

    Not to be a stickler on this but the Mayor as Head of Council is the one who is directing the ship not the Council. She is the one guiding the Council not the other way around. The Mayor is the Chief Executive Officer of the County. It might be considered insubordination for those working for the CEO to be making resolutions and having discussions on the role of the Mayor without the Mayor’s knowledge or input as seems to be the case in this situation.

    For your consideration here are the sections of the Municipal Act with regard to the roles of the Mayor (Head of Council), Council and Administration. The Council does not have the right to name someone other than the Mayor as their spokesperson. The CAO and other members of Administration do not have the legal right to make decisions affecting the ability of the Mayor (Head of Council) to effectively represent the people of the Municipality. I also do not see anything in the Act that authorizes the CAO or anyone else in Administration to be working directly with Council without the knowledge of the Mayor (Head of Council).

    The resolution as presented serves to limit the Mayor’s ability to act as the CEO of the Municipality which may hinder the ability to deal confidentially with residents of the Municipality. If I want Buck Sloat or anyone else on Council as well as the Administration of the County to be privy to my correspondence I will copy them on my letters.

    This is an affront to the taxpayers of Haldimand County through a breakdown of the structure and operation of the duly elected officials of this County. I would like to see a forensic audit of this County as soon as possible as it seems there are actions and activities that seem out of line with betterment of the taxpayers of this County. In other words there seems to be an operational dysfunction within Haldimand County that may be putting my tax dollars at risk.

    Lisa Parent

    Pertinent Sections of Municipal Act

    PART VI
    PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES

    Municipal Organization and Administration

    Role of council

    224. It is the role of council,

    (a) to represent the public and to consider the well-being and interests of the municipality;

    (b) to develop and evaluate the policies and programs of the municipality;

    (c) to determine which services the municipality provides;

    (d) to ensure that administrative policies, practices and procedures and controllership policies, practices and procedures are in place to implement the decisions of council;

    (d.1) to ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality, including the activities of the senior management of the municipality;

    (e) to maintain the financial integrity of the municipality; and

    (f) to carry out the duties of council under this or any other Act. 2001, c. 25, s. 224; 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 99.

    Role of head of council

    225. It is the role of the head of council,

    (a) to act as chief executive officer of the municipality;

    (b) to preside over council meetings so that its business can be carried out efficiently and effectively;

    (c) to provide leadership to the council;

    (c.1) without limiting clause (c), to provide information and recommendations to the council with respect to the role of council described in clauses 224 (d) and (d.1);

    (d) to represent the municipality at official functions; and

    (e) to carry out the duties of the head of council under this or any other Act. 2001, c. 25, s. 225; 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 100.

    Substitution

    226. A municipality may, with the consent of the head of council, appoint a member of council to act in the place of the head of council on any body, other than on the council of another municipality, of which the head of council is a member by virtue of being head of council. 2001, c. 25, s. 226.

    Head of council as chief executive officer

    226.1 As chief executive officer of a municipality, the head of council shall,

    (a) uphold and promote the purposes of the municipality;

    (b) promote public involvement in the municipality’s activities;

    (c) act as the representative of the municipality both within and outside the municipality, and promote the municipality locally, nationally and internationally; and

    (d) participate in and foster activities that enhance the economic, social and environmental well-being of the municipality and its residents. 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 101.

    Municipal administration

    227. It is the role of the officers and employees of the municipality,

    (a) to implement council’s decisions and establish administrative practices and procedures to carry out council’s decisions;

    (b) to undertake research and provide advice to council on the policies and programs of the municipality; and

    (c) to carry out other duties required under this or any Act and other duties assigned by the municipality. 2001, c. 25, s. 227.

    Clerk

    228. (1) A municipality shall appoint a clerk whose duty it is,

    (a) to record, without note or comment, all resolutions, decisions and other proceedings of the council;

    (b) if required by any member present at a vote, to record the name and vote of every member voting on any matter or question;

    (c) to keep the originals or copies of all by-laws and of all minutes of the proceedings of the council;

    (d) to perform the other duties required under this Act or under any other Act; and

    (e) to perform such other duties as are assigned by the municipality. 2001, c. 25, s. 228 (1).

    Chief administrative officer

    229. A municipality may appoint a chief administrative officer who shall be responsible for,

    (a) exercising general control and management of the affairs of the municipality for the purpose of ensuring the efficient and effective operation of the municipality; and

    (b) performing such other duties as are assigned by the municipality. 2001, c. 25, s. 229.

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  8. Marie Trainor isn't the mayor we need, but she was elected and now she is mayor.

    You don't change the system to fix an elected problem, you vote it out.

    Who came up with this nonsense? They need to be the next out.

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  9. Thanks Lisa for your comment, and the in depth information on the Municipal Act. Well done!

    Jerry, thanks for your comment. You are correct in the fact that we must respect the office of the Mayor. Councilor Sloat in particular needs to also learn to respect the Mayor, but I think for him, Hell needs to freeze over before he understands this concept!

    I hope you both come to Council on Tuesday.

    Thanks Donna

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  10. I don't see how this resolution can possibly be legal. It is a crime to open and/or read mail that is not addressed to you. I don't see how email would be considered any different. A municipal council can't pass a resolution that allows them to break the law (however I guess we are talking about Haldimand where anything goes...)

    So what about a counter resolution stating that all of every councilors mail has to be distributed to everybody?

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  11. Donna it is time for the Minister of Municipal Affairs to step in. A forensic audit is a must.

    This council is not doing their job! I am afraid of what they are doing behind closed doors, which by the way is where they seem to be most of the time.

    Stop the nonsense, we need some people to intervene here, and there is no one in this county that is capable of this.

    Bring in the troops, clean up the mess.

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  12. Simon thanks for the comment. I would think that you are correct that this is not legal!

    My question to CAO Bill Pearce and Councilor Buck Sloat, what is the real reason why this resolution is so important to you?

    Well seeing that they would never answer any of my questions, I will answer for them. "We don't think that the Mayor is doing her job, so we just want to see everything that comes into her office, there is nothing wrong with that, is there"?

    I hope that you can come to council Tuesday Simon, please pass on the information.

    Thanks Donna

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  13. Now there's a resolution to die for, wish we had one like it in Hamilton where I live and make my living.

    What I, and many more inquiring minds would like to know is who penned that abomination?

    Some of the worst public policy I've ever had the displeasure of reading.

    No wonder the Mayor was blind-sided, she's a feisty one all right, speaks her mind does she.

    That's a good thing, isn't it?

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  14. MAW thanks for the comment. I have got to tell you that today was a day to remember.

    I will be writing an article about council today, but in the meantime I will give you a taste of the meeting. The following is from Mark Vandermaas, Voice of Canada.

    IMPORTANT UPDATE!

    I am back from attending today’s disgusting meeting at Haldimand Council. Here is some important info about that meeting:

    1. YOUR MAYOR NEEDS YOU! You need to be at Haldimand Council at 1pm tomorrow (address below) to send a strong message that their last minute sneak attack on Mayor Trainer’s privacy, authority and relationships with her constituents (that’s you!) will not be tolerated.

    I drove all the way from London to attend today’s meeting because if they can do it to your mayor someone can do it to mine.

    Please…go support your mayor tomorrow. Call your councillor, or at least send them an email (links below).

    2. The Council went out of its way today to deny Haldimand residents the opportunity to speak on this very important resolution.

    Councillor Grice was the only bright spot in that he did put forth a motion that people be allowed to speak. It was seconded by the mayor, but was defeated.

    3. Councillors Sloat and Dalimonte left early. Council managed to deal with $100,000+ issues without them, but then, when the motion regarding the mayor’s email came up for discussion, the matter was suddenly deferred until tomorrow at 1pm despite the Council having a quorum.

    Our information is that Sloat, at least, was attending a Liberal photo op.

    I guess that was more important than dealing with a resolution undermining the mayor’s privacy and authority.

    4. Be careful if you decide to go to council tomorrow! At 1215 today, after voting not to allow Haldimand residents to speak, Councillor Buck Sloat grabbed a man by the shoulder, snatched his tape recorder from his shirt pocket and threw it on the ground, right on the back steps at city hall!

    The incident was witnessed and recorded on audio. The man filed a report with the OPP shortly afterwards asking that Sloat be charged with assault. More to come on this, but in the ‘What goes around, comes around’ category, readers may recall that Buck Sloat was the guy who said he couldn’t support Gary McHale or me because “he couldn’t support anyone coming to town to commit offences.” Well, Bucky, neither Gary or I have ever been accused of assault.

    Please read the whole story at www.voiceofcanada.ca
    more articles http://caledoniawakeupcall.com

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  15. Madam Mayor and Council,

    Unfortunately I could not attend today’s meeting as my 101 year old Mother is very ill in Kitchener and I am forced to attend to her rather than the sorry mess in Haldimand County.

    Up until today I thought I lived in a democratic society where free speech and the voice of the citizens of this country were sacred. Unfortunately today I believe that democracy as we have grown up to know it has ceased to exist. In fact when it comes to Haldimand County I believe we have entered a period of totalitarian rule where the voice of the people is silenced and an elected Mayor is terrorized by the very Council and staff that in effect work for her.

    You gentlemen, and I use that word facetiously, are playing with fire with this resolution you are trying to ram down the throats of the taxpayers of Haldimand County. The Mayor was duly elected by the taxpayers of this County to represent them as their CEO and Head of Council. You are in effect trying to neuter the Mayor’s role by usurping her relationship with her constituents from her. You are not attacking the Mayor, you are attacking the very people you are supposed to represent by attacking their duly elected Mayor.

    If you are not hearing from your constituents in your wards you might want to take a look at yourselves and not the Mayor. At the same time if I communicate with the Mayor it is because I want to interact with her and not you.

    The first time you become privy to an email or letter anyone sends privately to the Mayor, the County will be in a position to be sued for invasion of privacy. You Mr. Sloat and those of you on Council who intend to vote “Yes” for the resolution to force the Mayor to share all emails and correspondence with you and staff should be personally held liable for invasion of privacy.

    You may or may not be aware but Part VI of Bill C-46 Invasion of Privacy in the Criminal Code of Canada could easily be used to prosecute any attempt to intercept emails sent to the Mayor. In case you are not familiar with this section of the Criminal Code I will include the link here for you http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showdoc/cs/c-46/bo-ga:l_VI//en#anchorbo-ga:l_VI . Before you vote “Yes” to this resolution you may want to take a look at this piece of legislation in the Criminal Code. To help you understand this section of the Criminal Code read the following:

    · “private communication" means any oral communication, or any telecommunication (I would suggest this can include emails), that is made by an originator who is in Canada or is intended by the originator to be received by a person who is in Canada and that is made under circumstances in which it is reasonable for the originator to expect that it will not be intercepted by any person other than the person intended by the originator to receive it, and includes any radio-based telephone communication that is treated electronically or otherwise for the purpose of preventing intelligible reception by any person other than the person intended by the originator to receive it;”

    · “184. (1) Every one who, by means of any electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical or other device, wilfully intercepts a private communication is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.”

    · “184.2 (1) A person may intercept, by means of any electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical or other device, a private communication where either the originator of the private communication or the person intended by the originator to receive it has consented to the interception and an authorization has been obtained pursuant to subsection (3).”

    You see gentlemen this has nothing to do with the Mayor but rather has everything to do with the protection of the privacy of the residents of this County. Would you like to test this law in court?

    As a resident of this County and taxpayer I am fed up with your attempts to circumvent the role of Mayor who was openly and fairly elected to her position in the County.

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  16. Thanks Lisa.

    Funny thing happened today at council.....The vote on the resolution will have to wait until next week......why?.....it seems the county lawyer has thrown caution to the wind!

    Too bad this council never thought of asking the lawyer.....before.....they came up with this idea!

    Donna

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