Thursday, May 29, 2008

Haldimand "Kudo's to Councillor Grice"

*********************UPDATE******************************************************

Friday May 30th, 2008.

Something was just not sitting right with me when I wrote this blog. The first problem that I ran into was actually believing what I had read as the "whole truth". Now anyone who has written a letter to the editor and had it edited for print finds out very quickly the "truth" can change by taking out a word here and there.

I called Councillor Grice to ask him a few questions but we have played telephone tag. So I called Mayor Trainer to ask her a few questions about that meeting on May 16th.

This was the conversation I had with Mayor Trainer;

I informed Mayor Trainer that I had written a blog about the meeting in her home with government officials and the fact that I agreed with the stand that Councillor Grice took. Boy I can tell you that when you need to know the truth you need to go directly to the "source".

As it turns out the Deputy Minister had no problems meeting at the Mayor's home. This was in no way an "official" type of County business. It was an informal meeting that started with a meeting of residents that live on "Sixth Line" in Haldimand County prior to going to the Mayor's home. After a "one hour" meeting at the Mayor's home at 2:00pm, the group went to meet with others at the Hagersville Tim Hortons. So there you have it these government officials were at three meetings in Haldimand County the same day.

Mayor Trainer found out this information about the other meetings at the Liaison Side Table Meeting that took place the following week, and "prior" to the Council Meeting this past Monday where Grice criticised the Mayor for having the meeting at her home. I asked Mayor Trainer if Grice new this information and she said Yes. So what was the rant all about?

Another thing to add is that Councillor Boyko was in fact at that same meeting on May 16th at Mayor Trainers home, yet the reporter left this information out of the article! So Counciller Boyko spoke with first hand experience that the Deputy Minister didn't have a problem with this.

Now I still haven't had a conversation with Councillor Grice on this "clarification" of the events that took place. When I do I will post what his comment was.

In the meantime my "apologies" to Mayor Trainer and Councillor Boyko for not getting the facts straight. But in my opinion this was a good exercise. I wonder what else we read that is really "NOT" the " WHOLE TRUTH".

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The Regional Newspaper reporter Bill Jackson wrote an article this week that has me scratching my head and wondering just how professional is our council? Actually in a way I found the story a little bit amusing at the same time.

Mayor Trainer, Councillor Grice and CAO Don Boyle met with Lori Sterling, Ontario's Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Provincial Representatives Doug Carr and Chris Mahar on Friday May 16th.

This meeting took place at Mayor Trainer's home. Councillor Grice criticized Mayor Trainer for her choice of location. Grice made the following statement at a council meeting on Monday;

"How are we being seen by the province?" Grice asked his colleagues at the council table, noting that "respect deserves respect" when it comes to the number one issue facing Haldimand these days. He told The Regional News that Ontario's representatives were introduced to Trainer's dogs and that a cow was grazing at the side of the driveway while the meeting was in progress.

Well I can say one thing the picture in my head right now of these people being introduced to Mayor Trainer's dogs certainly put a bit of a different view on how our local politicians conduct County business. I wonder was the cow a milking cow?

Now Mayor Trainer at this point in the meeting took a stand and basically said to Councillor Grice;

You can choose the meeting location when you become mayor, but that "this is my style...I go with my style."

Grice said it was inappropriate to hold the meeting at a council member's home and said it should have been held inside council chambers in Cayuga, or at another county location. Boyko said the deputy minister was pleased to meet at the dining room table, a different setting compared to the norm, and found Grice's comments "disturbing. "That wasn't the sentiment, Grice asserted."What do you expect them to say?"

I totally agree with Councillor Grice on this one. Exactly what kind of meeting was this? Where was the rest of Council? Bill Jackson doesn't say in the article what this meeting was about, or what was talked about at this meeting. In my opinion County business needs to be done in a business setting, especially when you consider this was not a meeting of a "private company" this was a meeting concerning "County business".

Councillor Sloat stated publicly that he could care less if the meeting was in a tent and called Grice's comments trivial and almost Insulting. However Grice stood his ground and said both Sloat and Boyko initially asked the mayor to have the meeting in an office setting. Now you have to remember that this was being discussed at a council meeting and obviously Sloat and Boyko were not expecting Grice to clarify in public what their initial comments were, and I am sure their initial stand was not stated publicly.

Grice continued on and makes the following statement;

"She has to have it at her house because it's grandma day. That is unprofessional and does not put us in a good light with counterparts at the provincial level. If you want respect you've got to give respect, whether or not you like the Party or not..."

Now apparently Councillor Delimonte never made any comments until after the Council meeting was over. Delimonte agreed with Grice but never made a comment publicly, instead he made this comment to Bill Jackson after the meeting was over;

Councillor Tony Dalimonte said he agreed with Grice. The business of the municipality should be held at the municipality, it's as simple as that," he said."There's no issue more serious right now than credibility at the provincial level."

So I wonder why Councillor Dalimonte didn't stand up for Grice in public?

I for one will say "Kudo's" to Councillor Grice for standing up and saying what some of us are thinking right now! In my opinion Grice is totally bang on!

19 comments:

  1. Donna I will disagree with you on just one thing you wrote. This is not AMUSING!

    What was Trainer thinking? Was this a Tea Party?

    I agree with councillor Grice this is not professional at all. I also say Kudos's to councillor Grice for taking a stand! Shame on councillor Sloat and councillor Boyko for trying to make councillor Grice look bad in public, they are both liars.

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  2. My goodness! What great American President use to hold Fire Side Chats? Was it Harry Truman? Well, Marie is just carrying on the tradition of a great world leader. But seriously, leaders have often held important meetings in their homes, cottages, yachts and Camp David. Give yourselves a shake, folks. There are more important issues in this community other than where Marie met with another useless politician. Beth Hutchison

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  3. I personally don't see anything "disrespectful" about a meeting being held at the Mayor's home. This was obviously not meant to be a formal meeting involving all of council and quite frankly I have found in the past that a lot more ground can be broken in an informal meeting at a pleasant setting than in a chamber or office. For that matter a lot of the biggest deals in the world have been made over a couple of drinks or a game of golf.

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  4. "For that matter a lot of the biggest deals in the world have been made over a couple of drinks or a game of golf."

    And this poster doesn't see this as being a problem?

    Don't forget this mayor recently made the statement "I think they are pooping on us".

    Business is Business, Personal is Personal, your home is Personal. It is that simple.

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  5. Thanks for your comments.

    I have said in the past that I believe that one of the problems that our council members have is that they cannot seperate the Business from the Personal.

    Mayor Trainer having this meeting in her home is just that....stepping over that fine line.

    I do understand the one poster that states; "And this poster doesn't see this as being a problem"? I agree with this poster as I believe the issues that are facing Haldimand these days are far too important to have meetings at a councillor's home.

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  6. I would say that this meeting was a formal meeting. These are government officials. Now maybe these people are personal friends of the Mayor's, if this is so than yes this meeting was informal.

    I wonder if the Mayor's grandkids were there as well? As the paper did state that the Mayor said she did not have to attend this meeting, as we all know it is her day off with the kiddies.

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  7. Most business is done outside of an office,in resturaunts,shops, cars and yes personal homes.People are more relaxed in these settings than in a formal office, which may not have been suitable to accomidate,and entertain the meeting guest.

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  8. I also agree with Grice.

    This is County Business, which should be carried out in the County Chambers.

    I wonder did the Mayor inform the rest of council as to what took place at this meeting, or once again the information flow stop there.

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  9. What is going on is lot more then Haldimand County!!! For us to look bad: is just that but what is happening is a lot bigger then just us!!!

    We should mention others involved: if we want the same back!!!

    This is NOT just about Haldimand County is it!! Ipperwash was First: were Second!!! Ipperwash still has NO Law like some of us!!!

    It’s NOT over till ever one is Protect by the laws Of The Land!!

    Jim Smith

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  10. There is a lot of business that is done in coffee shops and homes no doubt. But there is a huge difference here, this is not just a person that is doing there own business, selling business cards or selling vaccum cleaners.

    You would never see the head of a huge corporation preceding with business in this manner. How would they be held accountable to the stakeholders.

    The county is run by elected officials and their business is done in the best interest of the stakeholders.

    People should shake their heads at what we have become used to here in Haldimand County.

    This was an inapropriate setting for a meeting with these government officials.

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  11. Donna how do you know that Mayor Trainer is telling you the truth?

    Should you have not waited to speak to Councillor Grice?

    Will you change you stand once again if Councillor Grice tells you that this was official county business?

    Talk about flopping!

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  12. Donna the interesting thing on truth in regard to clarification is: Theres your truth, theres the other persons truth, and somewhere between that usually lies the real truth. Works about the same way with everything when it comes to people.
    Iain G.

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  13. Thanks for your comments.

    Councillor Grice called me to say that he was very busy and will try to call me tomorrow. He had not read my blog. When I told him of the conversation that I had with Mayor Trainer he is still taking his stand! So there will be another update and yet maybe another truth.

    As far as the poster that asked me if I believed Mayor Trainer, my comment would be that she is well aware that her response was going to be an update on my blog. And honestly when I ask a direct question I would hope that the person tells me the truth.

    If Councillor Grice says that this was indeed official county business, then I will throw my hands in the air and give up on this one as the truth in my opinion only has one side. Truth!

    Thanks Iain for your post, it does make one think.

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  14. There is still more to this. Councillor Grice wouldn't have made such a stink about it if there wasn't more to the story. I look forward to hearing Councillor Grice's response to what Mayor Trainer told you.

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  15. It was good that you clarified this. It looks like it is Grice's turn to start harassing the Mayor about her one day off a week. This has been in the papers many times that Friday's are her only day off and she spend the day with her grandchildren, what is so wrong with that? Councillor members should do half the time that Marie does.

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  16. To the bove poster:
    What makes you think that the councillors put in less time then the Mayor? That is a crock!

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  17. Congratulations to Councillor Grice and Donna Pitcher. The kind of courage they are showing in doing the right thing is very hard to do in our society. That Councillor Dellimonte could not speak up for his colleague [Grice]in the open forum of Council, speaks volumes about how difficult it is.
    Do I remember mention being made about openness and transparency in the politics of Council during the campaigning leading up to the last election? What happened to that openness and transparency?

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  18. Thanks for your comments.

    I will agree with the poster that states;

    "What makes you think that the councillors put in less time then the Mayor? That is a crock!"

    I am going to assume that this comment comes from someone who has been a council member. I have never stated that being a councillor is an easy job. They are on call 24/7.

    Councillor Grice had promised me on Friday that he would call me Saturday about his stand on this issue. I have not heard from Grice, he must be busy.

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  19. Applause to Craig Grice for speaking up about this absolute nonsense that so-called Mayor pulls time and time again.

    Of course the deputy-minister said it was ok..........just like we all do when someone serves us a really bad dinner while visiting........we suck it up and say "thanks for the nice dinner" and then vomit in private so as to not hurt people's feelings......

    Trainer is a total embarrassment to Haldimand and has made the county the laughing stock.

    And she wonders why Haldimand isn't kept in the loop or is allowed at the negotiating tables?

    duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

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