Audit Follows In Wake of Regional Government Charges of Financial Mismanagement by Town
Posted November 27th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
A Brief Foreword Note from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Okay, so let’s hope that this Wednesday, November 29th, the people of Pelham and the rest of us across the Niagara region finally get the answers to some very serious questions that have been raised about Pelham’s financial health and whether or not economic decisions it has made around land transactions and the building of a new community centre in the town could harm municipal tax payers and the credit rating of the whole Niagara region.
Questions and concerns about all of this have been swirling since at least as early as last spring when David Barrick, chair of the regional government’s corporate services committee and a Port Colborne regional councillor, won regional council support for a motion calling for an independent audit of Pelham’s books.
The issue has been raised a number of times at the regional government level, including again earlier this November during a heated session attended by a full gallery of Pelham residents demanding answers.
So let me repeat a hope that all of this will come to a head with answers to the outstanding questions and concerns this coming November 29th at a special session of Pelham council scheduled for 6: p.m. at E.L. Crossley Secondary School in the Pelham community of Fonthill.
I am posting a summary of what, when and where this council meeting is taking place, shared by the Town of Pelham, immediately below, followed by a recent message from Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn, attempting to address some of the questions and concerns that have been raised.
More on this issue on Niagara At Large later. Stay Tuned.
Special Meeting of Council – KPMG Public Presentation, Wednesday, Nov. 29th
What: The Town of Pelham has scheduled a Special Meeting of Council to receive KPMGs findings, with costs to undertake the audit, of all transactions and documents related to the 3.3 acre Parkland Over-Dedication to the Town by Fonthill Gardens and a 2015 Excess Parkland Dedication Agreement between the Town and Fonthill Gardens. KPMG has also been asked to present all of its financial findings and conclusions, including pertinent updates from a Sept. 5 privileged report.
When: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 – 6:30 p.m.
Where: E.L. Crossley Cafeteria at E.L Crossley E. L. Crossley Secondary School ocated in Fonthill in the Town of Pelham on 350 Hwy 20 West.
A Message from Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn Regarding a Council Residngianed and Alleged Disclosure of Legal Information, dated Tuesday, November 7th, 2017
It is disappointing that Mr. Junkin resigned his Council seat yesterday and gave up the privilege of serving the community.
It has now come to light that while he was still a Councillor, Mr. Junkin allegedly disclosed legal information from a Town Council closed session meeting regarding ongoing litigation.
Since Council is required by law to keep any and all information pertaining to that in camera meeting strictly confidential, neither I nor other Councillors, nor Staff can legally respond to the allegations made by the former Councillor, without potentially facing criminal or quasi-criminal charges.
Mr. Junkin made many allegations to a local newspaper and I very much look forward to correcting the inaccuracies as soon as legally possible.
Regrettably, his obvious political action of allegedly disclosing confidential information could have significant financial costs for the Town and our taxpayers.
Accurate information about Pelham’s financial position was always to be considered publicly later this Fall as part of the Town’s 2018 Budget deliberations, and we will follow through with that plan. Further information will also be considered as part of the KPMG audit of the Parkland Over-Dedication Agreement later this month.
Finally, Council will declare the Ward One seat vacant at our next regular meeting on November 20. After that, Council will consider options to fill the seat, which include holding a by-election or appointing a qualified citizen to represent his or her peers.
Mayor Dave Augustyn
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