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Monday, August 24, 2009

Payback?

With the cost of the Eisenberger/Clark investigations nipping  taxpayers to the tune of $128,000.00, there is talk of whether the taxpayers of Hamilton should be reimbursed for the costs of the investigative process. The argument being, that the investigations would not have been necessary had the code of conduct been respected.

Do you think the taxpayers should be reimbursed the cost?

What if this applied to a citizen initiated complaint that was made in bad faith?  Under those circumstances, should a citizen also be required to reimburse taxpayers for the cost of an investigation?

Should there be a higher standard that is applicable to those elected?

Should payback be required at all, or is this the cost of doing business and making corrections?

2 comments:

  1. Brian HenleyAugust 24, 2009

    Does the suggestion in this talk of "reimbursement for the costs of the investigative process" mean that for example in the tape (or MP3) case the guilty party should pay. If it is, yes in principle. But not in this present case because the rules had not been established fully. As to costs of "bad faith" complaints, I would think that the Integrity Commissioner could and should be able to weed those out before any lengthy investigation proceeds. Ultimately for good faith cases, the citizens should be held accountable if the findings do not confirm their complaint.
    As an aside, the costs of 'Clarkgate" are excessively high and surely some strong criticism is due to senior management team, particularly in the solicitor's department - why was such an expensive lawyer even hired, why were the parameters of potential costs not established, why was the case permitted to take so long to investigate and report on? If nothing else perhaps this incident could lead to some badly needed changes in the way the City receives legal services, i.e. an end to so many lawyers as city employees but legal advice obtained from outside as needed.
    Finally as regards the Code of Conduct, I would wonder if many councillors could even articulate, even in very general terms, what they swore to, and if they take such a sworn obligation into mind when they do their daily business?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cal: Your bring up a good questions, I believe that those who are elected should be held to a higher level of accountability.

    I think that for the public, there has to be a better system for the complaint process. I know of someone who had a very legitimate complaint of breach of trust. It ultimatley took over two years to resolve the issue and only when a call came from a federal MP's office, was it finally solved. But in this case, did the complainants receive any compensation for the grief they went through? No,they did not and nor could they afford a lawyer even to fight for justice in this case for the wrong they had to endure.

    In this case, the one who caused the problem should of been fired on the spot but being that they were probably covered by union contract, I doubt that they were and they are still probably there to unleash their bullying tactics again on the unsuspecting public. One also has to question the ability of their management that failed to doing anything either.

    So in this case one has to ask, while the problem was solved was justice really served? I do not believe it was.

    ReplyDelete

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