In an effort to ensure accountability and transparency for taxpayer resources a Freedom of information (FOI) request has been recently filed with the Clerk’s Office at the Civic Centre. At issue is significant expense incurred to remove the Police Chief, Fire Chief and numerous senior management employees from the Corporation.
The request also includes the costs related to the hiring and dismissal of a fire prevention officer who was employed for only two weeks but was paid thousands in severance. Doug Millroy highlighted this boondoggle in a Sault Star editorial.
“Despite the Mayor committing to control municipal spending during the last election its clear that is not happening and residents deserve to know how their money is being spent,” said Ring. “Spending has increased by nearly $12 million over the last four years and with other costs being unnecessarily added, such as $1 million more for garbage collection, $7 million to improve the Civic Centre and $15 million for a P.U.C energy scheme, we clearly need more transparency.”
The information requested is required to be provided within 30 days of filing, which at the time of filiing would be prior to the municipal election date.
The FOI was provided to the City and contained the following requested details:
‘The Requester requires the total amount paid or agreed to be paid, or paid or required to be paid pursuant to any lawful order, to former employees of the Coporaton of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, as a consequence of the termination of their employment, or the cessation of their employment, whether or not the termination of employment or cessation of employment was voluntary or involuntary.
The amount requested is a total sum paid for all such employees and not an amount related to any specific individual or party. The amount requested is to include, termination pay, severance pay, salary continutation pay, payment of benefits, pension contributions, any amounts paid directly or indirectly as a consequence of the termination of employment and damages of any kind and for any reason.
The period covered by this request is from October 31, 2014 to September 17, 2018. For increased clarity, this request includes former employees of the Corporation of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, including former employees of the Fire Services and Police Services and it includes both form employees whether or not they were management or non management employees.’