brampton employees

got a pay raise — or a fat bonus

Turns out ex-Mayor Fennell & her council left more of a legacy mess behind.

According to an article in the Brampton Guardian, City Administrators had the authority to make decisions for decades with no direct council oversight or approvals.

Typical bureaucratic “empire building” behaviour that can lead to extra liabilities, spending and operating costs, etc. that Brampton taxpayers are on the hook for. No wonder the city has so many “issues” (a.k.a. poor planning, cost over-runs, screw ups, constant tax increases, etc).

To quote the article;

“After a series of damaging controversies that hurt City Hall’s reputation in recent years, an alarming staff report reveals that Brampton taxpayers were put at “risk” for decades because councillors didn’t realize the scope of decision-making powers they had handed over to staff.

Following the sweeping dismissal of the city’s most senior bureaucrats last year, the new regime now wants to overhaul existing rules on “delegation of authority” that have allowed senior managers in the past to quietly make decisions, including the use of city resources, without any direct council approval or oversight.”

Reading further, we hear about hundreds of thousands of dollars paid out in bonuses without councils knowledge or approval (bold emphasis added by me – Editor)

Wednesday’s report was brought forward following a recent police investigation launched after a June internal audit report that revealed senior staffers for years paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses to non-union employees without council’s knowledge or approval. The police investigation found no criminal wrongdoing by staff in the payment scheme referred to as outside policy requests. The staff report on the police investigation explained that previous delegation of authority, granted years before the secret bonus payments were made to staff without council’s knowledge, technically excused senior managers from keeping council and taxpayers in the dark.

Lot’s of room for possible  waste, abuse and corruption there. I agree with these statements from the article. Also,  although no “criminal wrongdoing” was found, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t abuse or unethical use of the system. Example, “legally” pay a city employee (who also happens to be a buddy or friend) a fat bonus for ‘exceptional work’ or offer them additional overtime hours,or extra ‘projects’ that others don’t get offered, etc.

“Granting broad powers to non-elected municipal officials can create significant risk, as highlighted by Wednesday’s report, and some municipal experts argue there needs to be proper oversight to prevent staff from abusing such power.

“The job of council is to pay attention. There has to be checks and balances,” said Stephen Bauld, a procurement expert with a background investigating municipal fraud.

But questions are being raised about whether council was paying attention while senior staff kept them in the dark, using their powers under delegated authority.”

Obviously somebody was asleep at the wheel and this excerpt from  the Brampton Guardian article may provide some insight.

“During Wednesday’s committee meeting, Regional Coun. Gael Miles, who was the city’s budget chair for much of the period identified in the June audit report that exposed the bonus program, and who faced criticism as budget chief for approving staff budget presentations with little council scrutiny … “

One of the comments left by a reader, George on October 6th said the following;

‘I’ve often stated for a long time, on just how complacent our City Councillors have become, for many years there has been the attitude of referring matters to staff, then approving without questions the resulting recommendations. One of the worst at making referrals is the “fuzzy councillor “. ‘
The term “fuzzy councillor” refers to  Councillor Gael Miles which ties back to a statement Councillor Miles said in the article  “
“It’s still fuzzy for me,” Miles said, indicating the proposed recommendation is not clear on checks placed on bureaucrats.”

One comment on “Brampton Council Didn’t Have a Clue!

  • Frankly, most politicians are pretty useless at actually accomplishing anything positive. They can certainly talk up their intentions, after all, their actual job is to get elected and if possible, stay in office collecting pensionable time. They usually manage to move on before any of their promises are due for delivery, they usually manage to retire into the USA ether or somewhere else that it is difficult to hold them to account and they also manage to place themselves, their families, their close friends in jobs either in local government or with companies they helped when in office. Of course, their expense accounts and inflation proof pensions along with any salaries also inflation proofed also help. But remember, their number one job is to get elected.

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