What Was This “Special Meeting” At A Niagara-on-the-Lake Holiday Inn All About?
A Brief News Commentary from Niagara At Large reporter Doug Draper
Posted December 3rd, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Just when many Niagara residents may have been thinking that the outgoing board of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) may at long last be going away, it whipped together a “special meeting” – almost all of it held in “closed session,” according to an agenda that popped up sometime in the past few days on the NPCA’s website – in the Staybridge Suites at a Holiday Inn in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Niagara At Large learned of this meeting late this Monday, December 3rd afternoon, and we fired off a quick email to NPCA staff, asking for more information, including a copy of any announcement or statement that might come out of the meeting. At the time of this posting, NAL was still waiting for a response.
This meeting, whichas recently as the middle of last week, was not listed on the MPCA’s online calendar, follows an outpouring of public anger over a memo the board’s chair, Sandy Annunziata, sent to municipalities across Niagara this past November 23rd, informing them that a 1994 Order in Council from the province gives current board members a right to remain in their seats and have a say in who gets to sit on a new board municipalities hope to have in place before the end of this year.
In the wake of the public outcry over the memo, one member of the outgoing NPCA board, Welland Mayor Frank Campion, sent a letter to Annunziata, saying he was resigning from the board and others should too.
“I believe that there is a moral and ethical responsibility to step down,” in the letter he sent just two days before this past Friday, November 30, when the current term of service for all those sitting on Niagara’s regional council, including several members of the NPCA board, officially came to an end.
Among those who served on the outgoing NPCA board and whose council term ended this past November 30th are Annunziata, who lost his bid to serve another term as Fort Erie’s regional council in the October 22nd elections. Others who have served on the 15-member board and and lost their regional council seats this October include Brian Baty of Pelham, Tony Quirk of Grimsby, Patrick Darte, who was lord mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Doug Joyner, who was mayor of West Lincoln, and Bruce Timms of St. Catharines.
Two other outgoing board members are April Jeffs and John Maloney who served as mayors of Wainfleet and Port Colborne, respectively.
It remains to be seen what possible business was address at this December 3rd “special meeting” of the NPCA board. One is also left to speculate whether any decision or decisions rendered by a group made up of members whose term of elected office has expired will stand or might be ruled null and void.
In a letter Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch received from an Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry official over the past weekend, he was told that the 24-year-old Order in Council Annunziata and other board members are attempting to use to cling to power is null and void.
With that news, Burch stated that it was time for Annunziata and company to show some respect for the vote Niagara residents cast for change in October municipal elections, and step aside for new board members to be appointed by area municipalities.
Yet, here we have at least some of them meeting again this December 3rd for reasons we have yet to discover.
Niagara At Large found out that the room rented for the meeting at the Niagara-at-Large Holiday Inn may only have cost $225. The cost to taxpayers of any decisions these characters made inside that room has yet to be determined.
If anyone out there can enlighten us further, please feel free to share what you know in the comment space below.
NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.
A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.
For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .
“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders