A News Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted March 29th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – Henry D’Angela, a former Niagara regional councillor for Thorold, has been appointed by the Region’s Council to serve for the rest of the 2018 to 2022 council term as a citizen member on the Niagara Police Services Board.
D’Angela (whose last name ends with an ‘a’ and should certainly not be mistaken for the Region’s now former and very controversial CAO Carmen D’Angelo) served on the Police Services Board prior to 2014, when he was on the Region’s council and Gary Burroughs, who also sat on the board, serviced as the council’s Chair.
D’Angela ran and lost in last October’s municipal election to a strong-showing Terry Ugulini in a bid to serve as Thorold’s mayor for a second time during his time in municipal politics that goes back two decades.
During his last term as a regional councillor, he was one of only a handful on the last council who, in October 2016, voted against hiring Carmen D’Angelo, who was CAO of a problem-plagued Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) at the time, to the position of the Region’s CAO under then regional chair Al Caslin – a hiring that has remained a subject of controversy ever since.
D’Angela also publicly clashed with elected member of the last Police Services Board, including Calsin, then Port Colborne regional councillor David Barrick and the police board’s then chair, Niagara Falls regional councillor Bob Gale, over a 2017 board decision not to allow Niagara Region’s then Police Chief Jeff McGuire not to complete the final few years of his contract – a decision that cost Niagara taxpayers at least $870,000.
Niagara’s current regional council voted to appoint D’Angela, who put his name in for the position, to the police board at a council meeting this March 28th.
Now Angela comes back to the police board as its one and only citizen member, with three members, Tara McKendrick, Vaugn Stewart and Ken Gansel, who now serves as the board’s chair, appointed by the province, and with three elected members, Port Colborne Mayor Bill Steele, Wainfleet Mayor Kevin Gibson and Gale, whose return to the board following a vote by a majority on the Region’s current council this past December, baffled and bothered a number of Niagara area citizens.
D’Angela, a professional accountant by trade, comes on the police board weeks after it was learned that there are only a few cents – literally pennies – left in the Niagara police department’s reserve fund (rainy day money that should total into at least the hundreds of thousands of dollars) from the last term of council.
So it is good to have at least one more person on the new police board who knows how to count money and who may have much more of an appreciation for why you don’t go using up most or all your reserve funds to make your overall bottom line look good.
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