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LETTER: Bylaw targets 'abusive' minority, say former Oro-Medonte councillors

Some feel because 'council is elected and staff are public servants they are entitled to abuse, criticize and make false accusations because they pay their wages'
oro medonte council feb 2020
Oro-Medonte Township Council

BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected]. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following is in response to an article titled 'LETTER: Oro-Medonte bylaw violates Charter, citizen claims' published on Jan. 3. Editor's note: Both of the writers of the following letter are former councillors with the Township of Oro-Medonte — one with eight years of experience and one with 15 years experience on council.

On the surface it appears, by the passing of this bylaw, council is trying to stifle communication with the residents, but one needs to look into and understand the problems with a few residents or members of groups who continually bash council and staff with hundreds of demanding and downright nasty, abusive and frivolous emails and requests.

It is very unfortunate that council felt that their only resource was to pass this bylaw. The large majority of residents, while they may disagree with a decision of staff or council, can have that disagreement and interaction in a respectful and responsible way.

It is less than one per cent of the residents and in particular, certain groups, who consider themselves as council watchdogs, who are the problem and feel because council is elected and staff are public servants they are entitled to abuse, criticize and make false accusations against staff and council because "they" pay their wages.

Let’s get this straight; all of the taxpayers pay their wages, not a just a chosen few taxpayers

These abusive individuals and groups have cost the taxpayers of Oro-Medonte thousands upon thousands of taxpayer dollars in wasted staff time spent on frivolous freedom of information requests, replying to emails and let’s not forget the large legal bills. Money that could have been used for more productive use of staff time and road and recreation improvements throughout our beautiful and progressive township.

We can only hope that in the near future the majority of the residents of Oro-Medonte take a stand against these individuals and groups who think they are speaking for all residents.

We can honestly say you don't speak for us or for the majority of the people of our township. As councillors, while in office, we strived to, with interaction from our constituents, speak for the inclinations of the majority.

While most people have their own personal agendas, taking into consideration the environment, business, community, and a common sense approach was continually communicated to us from the majority of Oro-Medonte residents to portray a progressive sustainable township

In closing, as dialogue should always be encouraged, simply asking for respectable conduct does not seem unreasonable in moving forward. Remember, you can’t force people to respect you, but you can refuse to be disrespected.

Thankfully, we live in a democratic society so that in two years anyone is free to throw their name into the hat in an attempt to gain a seat on council and get a firsthand view of both sides of the situation.

John Crawford/Dwight Evans
Oro-Medonte Township