“It’s an apparent attempt to not only delay and confuse the process of appointing a new board, but it also makes us ask what deals they are trying to get done behind the scenes, and how much more damage they want to do before they are finally heaved out the door.” – the citizens watchdog group, A Better Niagara
A Message to fellow Niagara residents from a Better Niagara
Posted November 26th, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – Now we know at least a portion of what the board of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority has been up to since so many of their members were defeated in the municipal election.
On Friday, NPCA Board Chair Sandy Annunziata (an outgoing Fort Erie regional councillor defeated in the October 22nd municipal elections) sent a memo to all municipal governments in the region that, in effect, states the current NPCA board has decided a new process must be used to appoint an NPCA Board, and that process will be presided over by current chair Sandy Annunziata.
It’s an apparent attempt to not only delay and confuse the process of appointing a new board, but it also makes us ask what deals they are trying to get done behind the scenes, and how much more damage they want to do before they are finally heaved out the door.
The memo, sent to area councils and staff, informs them that the NPCA has turned up a 1994 Order in Council that outlines how board members of the NPCA should be selected and also details the number of representatives from each area of the NPCA watershed.
It’s a process that has not been followed in recent memory. Instead, the Niagara Region followed the process for appointing a Board as defined in the 2017 updated Conservation Act.
To be clear, the NPCA has just made a unilateral declaration that they are now demanding a new process be followed to appoint a board and until that process is followed, the present Board will retain power.
If the new process is followed it will strip some municipalities of representation on the Board and will give others more representatives.
It also means that once candidates are selected, the Mayors of the community must meet with the current NPCA board chair, Sandy Annunziata, at a time of the NPCA’s choosing, in order to bring forward their candidates for final approval.
Annunziata also says he would be happy to identify candidate selection criteria for the candidates.
Citizens of Niagara, we voted this crew out. Tell your new Councils we won’t stand for it. Insist they fight for us.
Please write members of the new Council.
Below is a cut and paste list of all newly elected Council members and below that, newly elected Council members by municipality.
It’s important to note that for new Councillors, the only emails we have are those which they were using for their election campaign.
We hope they are still valid. They will not have Regional emails until Dec. 6th.
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, electBradley2018@gmail.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Mayor Wayne Redekop: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Councillor Tom Insinna: email@example.com
Mayor Jeff Jordan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Councillor Wayne Fertich: email@example.com
Mayor Frank Campion: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Councillor Pat Chiocchio: email@example.com
Regional Councillor Leanna Villella: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Jim Diodati: email@example.com
Regional Councillor Peter Nicholson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Councillor Barbara Greenwood: email@example.com
Regional Councillor Bob Gale: firstname.lastname@example.org
Town of Lincoln
Mayor Sandra Easton: email@example.com
Regional Councillor Rob Foster: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Walter Sendzik: email@example.com
Regional Councillor Brian Heit: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Councillor Tim Rigby: email@example.com
Regional Councillor Sandie Bellows: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Councillor Jim Bradley: electBradley2018@gmail.com
Regional Councillor George Darte: email@example.com
Regional Councillor Laura Ip: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Terry Ugilini: email@example.com
Regional Councillor: Tin Whalen firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Betty Disero: email@example.com
Regional Councillor Gary Zalepa: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Marvin Junkin: email@example.com
Regional Councillor Diane Huson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Bill Steele: email@example.com
Regional Councillor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Kevin Gibson: email@example.com
Mayor David Bylsma: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Councillor Albert Witteveen: email@example.com
Here is the two page memo referred to in the Better Niagara message above, sent out to Niagara area municipal leaders this November 23rd by recently defeated Fort Erie regional councillor and NPCA board chair Sandy Annunziata –
A Brief Footnote from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –
‘Disrespectful’ and ‘arrogant’ are not strong enough words to describe the conduce of this outgoing NPCA board of directors in the wake of municipal elections this past October 22nd that sent out a clear message from Niagara voters that we want sweeping change and something far better than what we have endured over the past four years.
It is almost as if Annunziata and municipal politicians who sat on the NPCA board over the past four years and lost in the October 22nd elections are in a state of denial that has them refusing to accept the verdict of the voters and grasping whatever strings they think they can to continue exercising power over a once proud Conservation Authority that they have wreaked havoc on over the past four years.
So as our fellow citizens in A Better Niagara are urging, contact your municipal representatives and tell them enough is enough around this bunch. We insist on a new board, made up of members with experience in the area of conservation and environmental protection, and with a passion to rebuild the NPCA as the voice for safeguarding our natural heritage that it should be.
There is a motion that was tabled at the final, November 1st meeting of the outgoing Niagara regional council, and was left for consideration of the Region’s new council, to be sworn in this December, that outlines a more open and accountable process for local municipalities and the Region to choose suitable people to sit on the next NPCA board.
Whatever delusional nonsense Annunziata and the outgoing board are now trying to pull should be swept aside as completely as so many of them were swept out of elected office, and Niagara’s new regional council and local municipalities should work together in the spirit of the motion still on the floor to appoint an NPCA board a majority of citizens across the region can feel some confidence in.
Here is the motion, first passed this October by Pelham’s town council, that is still there for consideration by Niagara’s incoming regional council –
WHEREAS the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is a Provincially mandated agency operating in the Region of Niagara, Haldimand County and the City of Hamilton, funded largely by the Region of Niagara; and
WHEREAS the each of Niagara’s 12 Cities, Towns and Townships are collectors and contributors of public funds to the Region of Niagara, and, therefore, a contributor to the NPCA’s funding; and
WHEREAS the people of all municipalities represented on the NPCA Board deserve openness and accountability relating to how their tax dollars are being spent, how effectively our natural environment is being protected, and how representatives to the NPCA Board are appointed; and
WHEREAS currently, 11 of the 12 Niagara members of the NPCA Board are municipal politicians who may not have the necessary conservation and environmental expertise suited to effectively serve on this important Board; and
WHEREAS for the City of Hamilton, it has been the practice of their city council to appoint citizen representatives to the NPCA Board, thus highlighting the importance of the ability to provide appropriate knowledge, experience and expertise to the Board and establishing a precedent to support citizen appointment to the NPCA; and
WHEREAS the Auditor General, in her September 27, 2018 report to the Ontario Legislative Assembly, recommended that “members of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) Board of Directors should collectively have the skills, experience and training necessary to oversee the NPCA’s activities effectively” and that the “NPCA’s funding municipalities [should] ensure that their Board appointment processes consider skills and experience requirements”; and
WHEREAS the informal, past practice of the Niagara Regional Council has been to offer a single appointment from each of the twelve local municipalities by: first, offering appointment to the Regional Councillor(s) or Mayor of the local municipality; and, second by a process that defaults to the local municipal Councillors; and then, finally, to citizen representation; (please see attached description from NPCA website) and
WHEREAS the majority of Council’s across the Niagara Peninsula recently supported a formal appointment protocol that allows the local municipalities to seek applications for appointment to the NPCA Board and that a recommendation for appointment then be subsequently provided to the Region by the local municipalities;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Council for the Town of Pelham hereby requests the Regional Municipality of Niagara to establish a formal process for appointments to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Board that would request and permit each of Niagara’s local municipalities to publicly advertise and make recommendations for appointment of a qualified and independent citizen with appropriate skills and expertise to represent their respective municipalities, to take effect following the 2018 municipal election, or immediately should a vacancy on the NPCA Board of Directors occur; and
THAT a copy of this Resolution be forwarded to Niagara Regional Council and Niagara’s Local Area Municipalities for endorsement and support; and
THAT a copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the Auditor General of Ontario; Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry; the current NPCA Board of Directors; Niagara MPPs; the City of Hamilton; and Haldimand County for information.
For a reminder or possibly for some of you, a first-time review of the way our Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority has been operated with millions of dollars of our money in recent years, click on the following link for a report on the NPCA, prepared and released this past September by Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk – http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/content/specialreports/specialreports/NPCA_en.pdf .
For a recent Niagara At Large commentary on the NPCA board, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2018/11/22/can-you-believe-this-the-npcas-outgoing-board-holds-dead-duck-meeting/
To learn more abut A Better Niagara, click on – https://www.abetterniagara.com/about .
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