Gerry Walker has been communicating with the Town for two years trying to get an answer to his question of why the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee request to act as a Steering Committee was never required to act as an Advisory Committee. The Town finally told him to submit a formal complaint to the Town, which he promptly did. It took the Town 98 days to formally respond telling him to submit a complaint to the Town Ombudsman. He immediately did and the final report was issued on March 28, 2019, 148 days later (Town policy requires reports within 90 days).
The report was added to the April 1, 2019 Committee of the Whole agenda and Gerry was given less than 24 hours to assess the report and determine how to respond. He sent a letter to Council requesting that Council delay any discussion on the report to give him more time to review and respond. Council agreed and postponed a discussion until May 13, 2019.
Gerry presented to Council on May 13, 2019 his review of the Ombudsman report and asked that Council neither receive or accept the recommendations of the report because it contained numerous errors and omissions. The most significant omission was the failure of the Ombudsman to address his complaint on the length of time Town staff took to respond or not to respond at all.
Gerry presented several recommendations and asked that Council direct staff to review the recommendations and provide a written response to each.
Council received the Ombudsman report for information purposes (not accepting his request to not receive the report). They did refer his recommendations to staff for a report.
Here are the recommendations presented:
Town Complaint Process
- Town and Councilors to direct the Public to use the Town’s Complaint Process
- Town to officially respond to the Complaint, and the Complainant, within 30 days of the complaint submission to the Town
- Implement a tracking system to monitor and report complaint status
Ombudsman Complaint Process
- Council should be informed of complaints submitted to the Ombudsman for investigation
- Complaints should be added to the Unfinished Business with the Ombudsman File No. and its effective date (for aging purposes).
- Final Reports to be provided to Complainant 2 weeks before it goes before Council
- Enabling the Complainant to prepare a response via delegation or written submission.
- The Ombudsman should be reminded, and followed up, of the 90 day turnaround interval
The full presentation can be viewed here: