The  NPCA’s Board Needs – At Long Last – to Hear from the Public!

A Call-Out for the Mismanagement and Chaos at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority to End

From A Better Niagara, a region-wide citizens watchdog group

Posted February 18th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

(The following plea for the new board at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority to finally show some demonstrable concern and take real action to clean house at this sad excuse for a publicly funded agency was posted by A Better Niagara this past February 15th on its Facebook page and website, and is being reposted here by Niagara At Large.)

The NPCA’s new board needs to listen more to the public.

To make A Better Niagara’s position on the NPCA (Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority) clear, below are a list of the things we want an end to, and a list of the things we want. The NPCA board needs to hear from the public.

If you agree with any or all of what’s below, or if you have thoughts of your own you would like to share with them here’s their email addresses –

dave.bylsma@niagararegion.ca , diana.huson@niagararegion.ca , jeff.jordan@niagararegion.ca , barbara.greenwood@cogeco.ca , gary.zalepa@niagararegion.ca , brian.heit@niagararegion.ca , pat.chiocchio@niagararegion.ca , robert.foster@niagararegion.ca , tom.insinna@niagararegion.ca , tim.whalen@niagararegion.ca , kevin.gibson@niagararegion.ca ,
brad.clark@hamilton.ca , brenda.johnson@hamilton.ca , rob.shirton@gmail.com ; robrshirton@haldimandcounty.on.ca

We want an end to:

  • David Barrick’s reign as CAO — a position this controversial and combative figure is unqualified for. Until he is removed there can be no real change at the organization.
    • The censuring of board members for echoing the frustration of citizens. 
    • The continued firing of qualified conservation specialists while unqualified senior staff keep their jobs.
    • The implementation of a Strategic Plan, created by the discredited previous board, that does not adequately address the issues identified, and the recommendations made, in the Auditor General’s report. The Strategic plan was approved in July 2018 — two months before the Auditor General’s report was tabled!

We want:

  • A qualified supervisor to be appointed by the NPCA board to manage the NPCA until such time as a qualified CAO is hired and a qualified senior management team is in place and functioning well. The supervisor must have change management/senior executive experience and must be able to demonstrate she/he has led successful change management initiatives in large organizations.
    • Recognition from the current board that the work required to turn this organization around is too big a job for a part-time board consisting mostly of Regional politicians who already have many responsibilities on their plates.
    • The current board to immediately address the Auditor General’s 3rd Recommendation which was:

“To ensure that members of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Board of Directors collectively have the skills, experience and training necessary to oversee the NPCA’s activities effectively, we (Auditor General’s staff) recommend that the NPCA Board:

  • – Determine the types of skills and experience required on the board based on the NPCA’s mandate, and develop and implement a strategy to address any gaps;
    – Work with the NPCA’s funding municipalities to ensure that their board appointment processes consider skills and experience requirements
    – Assess the current role of the advisory committee to determine whether it is sufficient in fulfilling and gaps in Board skills and competencies, and revise as necessary; and
    – Identify initial and ongoing Board governance training needs.”
    This means a skills matrix needs to be developed and provided to all municipalities so that there is consistency in how board members are selected and to ensure they have the skills, experience and training necessary to oversee the NPCA’s activities effectively — that means that some board members must have skills, experience /training in conservation science related fields like botany, biology, fluvial geomorphology, ecological restoration, climate change mitigation etc.
  • The NPCA to stop fighting with citizens; to acknowledge that it hasn’t lived up to the expectations of the citizens of its watershed; and to vow to do what is necessary to restore trust and build relationships with citizens, based on mutual respect, that will lead to the increased health of our watershed and its citizens.
    • The NPCA to become the best Conservation Authority in the Province — protecting, managing, restoring and enhancing our watershed.

About A Better Niagara – A Better Niagara is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mandate to encourage civic engagement and municipal public participation in Niagara. The group was founded by a coalition of local residents frustrated by the nature of politics in Niagara who joined together to offer a new vision for governance in our communities. 

Drawn together by a mutual desire to see integrity, transparency and accountability in municipal politics we are committed to a Niagara that is more democratic, more equal and more open. We empower local residents who share a common vision for A Better Niagara. 

For more on A Better Niagara, click on – https://www.facebook.com/pg/betterniagara/about/?ref=page_internal .

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

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