I have spent more than 9 years advocating for increased Accountability and Transparency at the City of Oshawa.
The City has an Accountability and Transparency policy.
Actions speak louder than words, and actions suggest this Council can talk the talk, but not walk the walk.
Most recently, we have seen undeniable proof in time stamped photos, videos, and emails of election signs being installed ahead of the Council approved election sign by-law. After a formal complaint to the Elections Officer and City Clerk, the response was simply that: After review of the photos, each candidate was notified of their violation(s) of the City’s Election Sign By-law and reminded of their obligations under the by-law.
It is difficult to have true Accountability when there are no consequences for breaking the rules! One could argue that people with integrity don’t require rules to follow, but we all know better. Occasionally someone will mistakenly cross a line, sometimes we make a poor decision, or emotions may create an unintended reaction… but all those things have consequences.
I once stood before Council and the public and challenged Mayor Carter to declare a declaration of interest rather than to vote to fund the agency that employed his wife. Mayor Carter turned around and challenged me to file a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner, and I accepted that challenge! Bay Street lawyers hired by the Mayor had to admit there was a conflict but were able to convince a fellow Bay Street lawyer, under contract to the City to provide Integrity Commissioner services, that the conflict was not big enough to warrant discipline.
Accountability should not include two sets of standards! Politicians should not get a free pass because of who they are or who they know. They should hold THEMSELVES to a higher standard than anyone!
More recently, those Councillors elected to also represent us at the Region took some much deserved flack over their decision to change the responsibility of sewer line repairs to local residents. Thankfully, some form of greed or really poor decision making had a letter sent to every residence from a third party insurer which caught the attention of residents and served to alert us to the forced change of responsibility. The Region has accepted that they did a poor job of notifying us, and initially intended to only ‘suspend’ the change until they could complete a ’proper public education process’ or indoctrination of the changes!
Thankfully, it’s an election cycle, and more astute politicians have moved to rescind these changes of responsibility. But they haven’t rescinded the early changes to the water inlet pipes that are already property owner responsibility, that were changed without our knowledge and understanding!
These ‘astute politicians’ want to be congratulated for reversing a bad decision that they already made, and that is smoke and mirrors, electioneering, distraction and a lack of accountability and transparency. They got caught with their hand in the cookie jar and want a cookie as a reward when they deserve discipline AT THE POLLS.
Back in 2013, the City’s independent Auditor General reported on issues relating to the purchase of property to build the Consolidated Operations Depot. Long story short, the City hired a friendly, known to them lawyer as a ‘special investigator’ and the result was disastrous. While the taxpayers MAY have overspent by as much as $1.6 Million for the property, the process also vilified our Auditor General for doing his job, exonerated the CAO from allegations of interference with the independence of the Auditor General function, and Council swept it all under the carpet by eliminating the only real oversight at the City of Oshawa.
I will advocate for the return of an independent, in house, Auditor General, with the proper safeguards to ensure that independence and proper value for money audits of City operations and projects. I will advocate for the return of an Audit Committee.
I will advocate for changes to the Council Code of Conduct and a similar Code of Conduct for staff and Senior Management at the City of Oshawa.
I will advocate for greater Accountability at the City of Oshawa, so that the residents and taxpayers know how their money is being spent, where, and when. I will advocate for fewer in-camera meetings to increase the Transparency of decision making.
I will advocate for more public participation in meetings, decision making and for that public participation to be more meaningful in the process.
It’s YOUR City, YOUR money, YOUR future. YOUR voice deserves to be heard.
Vote for Logic. Vote fore Reason. Vote Jeff Davis
As we kick the campaign into gear, I look forward to knocking on your door and engaging with you. In the meantime, please follow and share me on: facebook https://www.facebook.com/JeffDavisWard4
The web www.jeff-davis.ca
Thank you, everyone. Contact me with your thoughts, ideas and concerns. Let me work with you to improve Oshawa, starting with Ward 4.
Jeff Davis Candidate for Regional and City Councillor, Ward 4 Oshawa www.jeff-davis.ca