At the regular Morrin village council meeting on Wed. Feb. 15 the public works report, financial reports including the insurance policy on all village owned buildings and vehicles, accounts payable, new business and council concerns and reports were all handled in 26 minutes followed by a meeting held without the public present (in-camera) for an hour and a half.
No information was provided on the agenda as to whether the in-camera was on a legal, land or personnel matter.
Land, legal and personnel are the only three issues allowed to be discussed in-camera.
The public was once again denied the opportunity to see the public works and financial reports.
Under old business, the request by John Siemens for a correction in the Oct. 19, 2016 minutes was tabled for the third time.
The initial request had come before council on Dec. 21 but was tabled until Jan. 18, was then tabled until Feb. 15 because Deputy Mayor David MacLeod stated in the Jan. 24 meeting that it needs to be “put off until next month… because I didn’t go through it [the information].”
The request was put off again at the Feb. 15 meeting because Coun. Al Bremer was not present due to illness.
Following the meeting, resident John Siemens questioned the dollar amount increase in a FOIPP request for financial reports Jan. 2016 to Jan. 2017 from the $53 originally quoted in a previous email from CAO Annette Plachner that has now increased in a more recent email to $160.
Mayor Lacher did not respond, however Plachner said she had spoke to the Privacy Commissioner’s office that day and assured Siemens the village was correct in charging that amount because of a village by-law.
Siemens reiterated that he had spoke to the Privacy Commissioner himself that day and was told it was illegal and the charges did not follow the FOIPP regulations which oversteps the village by-law.
In closing Siemens presented Mayor Lacher with a copy of the FOIPP regulations that showed the charge for a FOIPP application is $25 unless the work involved goes over $150 at which time an hourly rate can be charged.
Siemens pleaded with Deputy Mayor MacLeod to solve the issue without going to the Privacy Commissioner and the added expenses of lawyers for the village.
“How can I provide documents that don’t exist,” stated CAO Plachner.
When asked why lawyer bills didn’t exist Placher replied “Our lawyers didn’t charge,” stated Plachner, “he did our consulting free of charge.”
Siemens is looking for the financial reports [minus employee wages] from Jan. 2016 to Jan. 2017 which is public information according to the Municipal Government Act.