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Ward 1 and Ward 4

Councillors Release a Statement

367 Fourth Ave, PO Box 601, Matheson, ON P0K 1R0
TELEPHONE (705) 273-2313     EMAIL

For Immediate Release

March 22, 2024

Press Release by Councillor Rondeau and Councillor Schmidt

This press release is co-authored by Councillor Allana Schmidt and Councillor Chantal Rondeau. We write in support of the Press Release issued March 21, 2024, by our Mayor of Black River Matheson, Doug Bender. We are the two Councillors who regularly attend Council meetings. We know how the sessions work, we see how each councillor functions, we know that Council during this term has been successful addressing a number of important matters. We agree with the Mayor that Council has operated satisfactorily. We do not agree with the statement made recently by Councillors Dyment, Campsall and Gadoury that Council is stymied and can no longer function in the best interests of the community.

The only reason for disruption is the recent unwillingness of the three Councillors to carry out their duty to attend Council meetings. All three in concert have missed the regularly scheduled meetings on February 27, and March 12. As a result of their absences, Council cannot meet quorum. This means that the inability of Council to function is directly related to the decision by the three Councillors not to do their job. All they need to do to fix this problem is to attend. By standing for election, this is what they promised their constituents they would do.

We agree with the mayor that both Councillor Dyment and Gadoury have participated in all the discussions at Council about the Township bargaining positions. They have had their chances to speak. They also participated in the discussions about management salaries and the grid and the rates. After hearing from the third party expert, like the rest of Council, they approved a pay plan for the next four years. If they want to change their votes now, they need to do that in Council. Writing out vague complaints on a Facebook page is not helpful. If they have something important to say, they need to come back to Council and say it to the rest of us. The same applies to Mr. Campsall who was a recent replacement appointee. Then, there can be a debate. Debate and discussion are only possible if the Councillors come to the Council meeting.

We also need to appoint someone to replace Mr. Neal who resigned on February 20, 2024. One more Member would make quorum. We could function then, even if the three Councillors chose to stay away. But, by staying away and not permitting an appointment, Neal’s position stays vacant, and his ward is not represented except by the Mayor. Withholding the right to representation is a strange way for the Councillors to claim to be advancing the interests of the community.

We both know and feel that our management team has worked admirably during the lockout/strike to maintain the Township’s interests and basic services. Doing so without full support from certain Councillors is challenging. The best way to protect our staff and to promote the welfare of our community is stand as one behind the mandate that all of Council approved. If the three Councillors have changed their minds and now have a different idea, they should come and tell us all what it is. Writing a note on Facebook is not the same as speaking in Council. The rest of us will listen. We may not be persuaded, but we promise to tell each Councillor to his or her face, in Council. That is what we were elected to do. Then, we can get on with business.

Chantal Rondeau
Ward 1 Councillor, Township of Black River Matheson
Allana Schmidt
Ward 4 Councillor, Township of Black River Matheson

Contact Us

367 Fourth Ave.
P.O. Box 601
Matheson, ON P0K 1N0

Phone: (705) 273-2313
Fax: (705) 273-2140
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