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Canadian Publications Agreement No. 40727545

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Selwyn Council hears long list of complaints

 

October 13, 2017

 

BY TERRY GILLIS

 

The sole delegation at the October 10 Selwyn council meeting was Selwyn resident, Mr. Arthur Tarala.  Noted on the agenda, Mr. Tarala requested the ten minute deputation to discuss various complaints. In his written request for a deputation Tarala outlined seven issues of contention dealing with the Selwyn Township Building and Planning Department.

In 2013 an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing was held following an application for the resolution of a dispute over the design and construction of a garage on Tarala’s Deramore Road property.

The Building Code Commission was to determine whether the proposal to design and construct a free standing three car garage provides sufficiency of compliance with Subsection 9.15.3. of Division B of the Building Code.  The decision of the Commission was that the proposal did not provide sufficiency of compliance.

During Tuesday’s presentation, Tarala said his main issues are “how our council has spent the last three years [sic] and there has been no investigation into the conduct of the building inspector.”

During his address to council, Mr. Tarala was reprimanded twice by the Chair for comments he made about a municipal staff member.

Mr. Tarala said that he had put together a letter and evidence “that shows that there’s a real problem with how our planning and zoning is being addressed in this township.”

Mr. Tarala said that he was concerned about the development of the township. He commented that the population was dwindling dramatically, “with all the retired people passing away and nobody replacing them.”

“We need development and we can’t have the building department and planning department with one individual running it. It makes no sense,” Tarala told council.

Tarala told Mayor Smith, being the only person on council from the time the building and planning policies were created, that “the onus is on you, as the CAO, to do these investigations and to correct this problem.”

Mr. Tarala requested that council come back with a written response on why “we are in this position,” and to call in someone to investigate what is going on because too many people have made complaints to deaf ears.”

Councillor Herron received the deputation and said, “we as a council exercise our appropriate oversight, and I can confirm to you that all staff, including the Clerk, the CAO and the CBO and the building inspectors as well, they do their job. The policies and procedures that they are following are true, including the investigation of complaints.”

Councillor Herron stated that council doesn’t have the legal or technical ability to issue a building permit. “At this point I would say that council will not entertain a meeting with you as you requested. I think the best way to solve this matter is to comply with the orders that were issued by the Superior Court,” Herron said.

Councillor Herron made a motion to receive Mr. Tarala’s deputation; And that council wants to assure Mr. Tarala that it is exercising its duty in an appropriate manner and has oversight of the township; And that the CAO, CBO, Clerk and building inspectors are performing their duties in accordance with all the various acts, that would be the Municipal Act, the Planning Act, Building Code Act, Freedom of Information and Privacy Act; And that council is confident that complaints are being investigated properly and that staff are performing their duties with professionalism and integrity; And further, council wants it to be clear that council would not have the legal or technical authority to issue a building permit nor to make the CBO issue a permit, so council would not be in a position to meet with Mr. Tarala. And further a recommendation that Mr. Tarala comply with the orders that have been issued by the Superior Court of Justice.

Deputy Mayor Senis asked for a recorded vote which was a unanimous vote of support for Councillor Herron’s motion.

CORRECTION

 

In the October 13 issue, in the story, Selwyn council hears long list of complaints,  it stated that: In 2013 an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing was held. This was incorrect. There issue was not heard by the OMB and it should have read: In 2013 a Building Code Commission hearing was held.

 

The Lakefield Herald apologizes for the error and any issues or inconvenience it may have caused.