Mississippi Mills Councillor Duncan Abbott responds to the Francis Report

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I have read the column by Arnie Francis in your May edition. I am a Member of the Mississippi Mills Council (Pakenham Ward). I serve on the three subcommittees of council including the Culture and Economic Development Committee and five other related committees in my role as councillor. Three of the committees listed in his document are no longer extant. None of the public members of these groups have expressed anything like the criticisms in the article. Many committee members have served more than one term and few drop out for reasons other than health or a move out of the area.

The reports of the subcommittees are part of our agenda for each meeting which is on our website. Staff at the subcommittee meetings can try out new ideas before bringing them to council. Citizens can bring in issues or ideas for a first hearing. This often keeps the whole council from having to deal with minutia that can fill up our limited meeting time. For example the CEDC have a draft Economic Plan for the Town ready to present to Council in June. A consultant's report , meetings of the committee,public meetings and hours of volunteer work are all synthesized into this document for council's consideration.

I cannot review the issues surrounding Mr. Francis being removed fromthe CEDC. Matters involving identifiable personalities are always dealt with in closed meetings (In Camera). Mr. Francis met with the Councillors who are on the CEDC Committee and the issues were discussed in detail. He was invited to the In Camera meeting but chose not to attend. As to his overall condemnation of Local Government I can only paraphrasethe man who said “It is worst form of government except for all the others.”

Like any new Councillor I was amazed to find that all of my wonderful ideas were not taken up by my fellow Council Members at the first meeting. Some have been, some haven't and some, I hope, will be someday. That is the beauty of politics and I thank the voters for this chance to take part.

Duncan Abbott

Councillor Pakenham Ward Town of Mississippi Mills

duncanmmills@gmail.com 613 256 4000