“We are learning seemingly every week that there is truly ‘something rotten in Denmark’. …The citizens of Niagara deserve the best people and a government with the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Anything less is not acceptable.”
A Commentary by Dennis Edell, Niagara Chapter president for Trout Unlimited Canada
Posted April 10th, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – The St. Catharines Standard last week (April 6th) reported that their dogged investigative journalists had uncovered a memo from Niagara regional chair Alan Caslin’s office that was sent to Carmen D’Angelo who was then one of several candidates for the regional Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) job.
This shocking memo – reportedly disclosed to Mr. D’Angelo – the names and bios of the other candidates for the position for which he was vying.
At that point the competition to find a suitable candidate for the highest non-elected municipal office in Niagara was hopelessly polluted. Any chance of a fair competition to find the best person for the most important job in the Region was lost.
The Standard’s article focused on the discovery of the memo being sent to Mr. D’Angelo from someone in Chair Caslin’s office.
But perhaps there is a bigger question – What did Mr. D’Angelo do when this memo popped up in his in box?
It is not difficult to trace an email to see if it was in fact delivered and even if it was opened, read or printed.
Certainly no one could argue that Mr. D’Angelo should have brought the memo to the immediate attention of the search consultants and Niagara Region’s selection committee for the CAO position. They might have terminated the competition or at least insisted that this information be provided to all candidates to preserve the sense of a level playing field.
No one would argue that any candidate for the most senior staff position in the Region in charge of a billion-dollar budget must pass every test for character and integrity.
So what does this say about the character of Mr. D’Angelo if he received this memo and did nothing?
Doing nothing for a public servant is not acceptable.
So what did Mr. D’Angelo do instead?
Did he use the contents of the memo to prep for his interview with the selection board? With inside knowledge of competitors, he would have been able to position his strengths against the weaknesses of the other candidates, thereby giving him a significant competitive advantage.
Whatever the case, this puts a cloud over the selection process and questions the ethics and integrity of the current CAO.
The selection itself should be disqualified and of course, Mr. D’Angelo should be immediately dismissed for cause.
Sadly, through good journalism and outspoken citizens we are learning seemingly every week that there is truly “something rotten in Denmark”.
The citizens of Niagara deserve the best people and a government with the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Anything less is not acceptable. And this behaviour falls far, far below any reasonable standard. If we want a better Niagara, it’s time for a change.
Dennis Edell is a Niagara, Ontario resident, the president of the Niagara Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada and a local bee keeper.
Niagara At Large thanks Dennis Edell for trusting Niagara At Large as a forum for sharing his commentary on a matter of serious interest to resident of the region with our many readers.
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