Letter to the editor 2, May 21, 2020

Dear Editor,

I read with interest the recent letter to the editor by Robert A. Stocker.

Mr. Stoker introduced himself and seemed to think it necessary to write his disclaimer indicating that he did not know the Director General (DG) in a professional or personal capacity. Perhaps for full disclosure Mr. Stocker should have also mentioned that he is the mayor’s next door neighbour!

He also mentions knowing about best practice in relation to his experience in the para-public sector. Wouldn’t good governance practices include insuring that an employee of the town in such an important position is handling files properly and his behaviour towards members of council is collaborative and respectful as requested in the resolution? Sounds like a responsible and fair request to me.

Mr. Stocker poses the question of how the DG’s performance can be praised on the one hand by the mayor and deplored on the other hand by five members of council; an excellent question but is he suggesting that five councillors are wrong and only the mayor is right? He next suggests that an annual performance appraisal of the DG should be done. Since the DG reports to the mayor this is another excellent question, why does the mayor not prepare an annual appraisal of the DG?

Mr. Stocker then proceeds to make a number of troubling statements where he uses terms such as workplace harassment, psychological harassment, absence of objective evidence, risk of legal action by the DG, defamation of character, and the spectre of an action which would be very costly to taxpayers. I have read the resolution passed by the council and other public pronouncements of the council and I fail to understand the basis upon which Mr. Stocker makes these assumptions and freely uses such dramatic language. I am also wondering how Mr. Stocker can claim that the council acted without evidence when the details of the disciplinary sanctions were not shared publicly.

Perhaps Mr. Stocker could enlighten us as to where he derives his facts or as I imagine that the accusations are actually baseless. On the other hand if he knows some facts that the rest of the residents of Saint-Lazare are not aware of, is this because he is receiving insider information from his neighbour, the mayor? This would be very troubling indeed but would at least partially explain why the five councillors do not trust the mayor.

Beverly Duffy

Saint-Lazare

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