An Open Letter to the Citizens and City Council of Sault Ste. Marie,


Should CAO Fratesi help select the next permanent Commissioner of Finance and Treasurer (CF&T), from behind closed doors, before a new CAO is hired and can provide their input into the selection?

Citizens of Sault Ste. Marie can email your thoughts on this question, in confidence, to [email protected]
Email addresses, and names of non-City-Council-members will never be revealed to anybody.

Please put ‘LET CAO FRATESI CHOOSE’, or ‘WAIT FOR THE NEW CAO’ in the Subject line of your email depending on whether or not you feel it is better for CAO Fratesi to pick his preferred CF&T, from behind closed doors, which the new CAO will have to work with for the next twenty years.

In the mean time, City Council, I fully realize that you did exactly what CAO Fratesi told you to do at the February 9th, 2015 City Council meeting. You unanimously approved CAO Fratesi’s recommendation to use a closed door Committee consisting of:

1) CAO Fratesi – Chair,

2) Mayor Provenzano, and

3) CAO Fratesi’s direct subordinate, which CAO Fratesi recently appointed to the position of Commissioner of Human Resources from behind closed doors, Commissioner Niro.

However, in approving what CAO Fratesi told you to do, only three of you spoke to the recommendation:

1) Councillor Terry Sheehan spoke against CAO Fratesi’s recommendation indicating that he would prefer to wait for the new CAO to help make the selection of the next CF&T, and

2) Mayor Provenzano spoke immediately, and forcefully against Councillor Sheehan’s idea to wait, and in support of what CAO Fratesi was telling City Council to do, and

3) Councillor Paul Christian weighed in with his support of Mayor Provenzano’s position to go ahead with what CAO Fratesi was telling City Council to do, that being: Make a permanent selection of the FC&T by a closed door, CAO Fratesi participating, staff voting controlled Task Force without the new CAO’s input.

I know the decision to do what CAO Fratesi told you to do was unanimous, but I would appreciate each of you City Council members publicly giving your reasons why you think it is worse to wait for the new CAO to help select the new CF&T than it is to:

1) Have a closed door, staff controlled, committee make a permanent CF&T recommendation,

2) Have CAO Fratesi help pick HIS desired permanent FC&T from behind those closed doors when we can reasonably wait, given the depth and breadth of the talent in the Finance Department to have our city continue running smoothly, in the absence of Commissioner Freiburger, for at least six months after budgeting for this year has been completed.

Why did you vote to do what CAO Fratesi wants you to do Coun. Butland, Coun. Myers, Coun. Shoemaker, Coun. Hupponen, Coun. Niro, Coun. Turco, Coun. Bruni, Coun. Fata, Coun. Krmpotich, and Coun. Romano?

Please tell us publicly what was going on in each of your heads.

And of course, Mayor Provenzano, Coun. Christian, and Coun. Sheehan can also publicly defend the positions they took during deliberations of this important selection of the next Commissioner of Finance and Treasurer if they so choose.

Speak publicly now, City Council members, or forever be seen as a ‘Joe boys’*.

In the mean time I’ll collect the confidential input of our Citizens on this important matter at [email protected] and report back to the media before the next City Council meeting so that you will know, City Council, what the citizens want you to do…


I look forward to hearing from all of you.
Mark Brown
[email protected]

* ‘Joe boys’ is used here to mean both male and female City Council members who do what they are told to do, and when they are told to do it, by Sault Ste. Marie CAO Joseph M. Fratesi. There is no disrespect intended to females by the use of the word ‘boy’.