by Vance Gutzman
Deep River council is pushing ahead with its police service consultation plan.
The municipality issued a draft timeline last week for the beginning and completion of the plan, which will include an electronic voting survey like that taken last year on the town’s fire services.
The timeline was released as a public document following a closed meeting of council which, in turn, followed a testy exchange with a group of ratepayers who wanted the plan discussed in an open session of council instead.
Councillor Bob McLaren took their side last Wednesday.
The council agenda for that evening contained a number of items for closed session and McLaren asked that the police service consultation plan be extracted from the closed agenda and moved to the open portion of the meeting.
“To do this in closed session smacks in the face of what we said we were going to do,” McLaren said of council’s past commitments towards openness and transparency.
The agenda cited, as part of the reasons under the Municipal Act for going into the closed session “advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for the purpose.”
With that in mind, other council members were of a different frame of mind.
“We’re dealing with a confidential legal document from our lawyer,” said Councillor Ron Desrochers.
“I trust everything will be open to the public very shortly.”
> for more on this story, pick up a copy of the May 24 North Renfrew Times…