LANSDOWNE – Signing a permanent contract for a township CAO eroded into a shouting match at one point during a special council meeting.
Following a closed-door meeting of the Leeds and the Thousand Islands council last week (May 23), CAO Greg Borduas – hired in November 2016 and was under a probationary period – was hired permanently.
But the approval was anything but smooth around the council table.
“We did have the opportunity to put feedback in,” Coun. Vicki Leakey said after a question from Coun. Harold Emmons about whether council had a meeting in full about Borduas’ performance.
“We’ve never discussed his performance. We’ve never discussed with each other…his strengths or weaknesses,” Coun. John Paul Jackson said. “We’ve failed to monitor and follow through on what the mayor had put out there. There’s been no discussion since then.”
Jackson was referring to an email to all councillors requesting feedback.
Coun. Gerry Last mentioned that four councillors had submitted feedback, inciting a response from Jackson that information had been shared, but not with all councillors.
During an argument between Last and Jackson, the mayor jumped in. “I told her that,” Baptista said.
“So you shared with other councillors information that you didn’t share with the rest of us. Totally inappropriate!” Jackson said.
Coun. Jackson and Mayor Baptista continued to speak over each other and the conversation quickly went downhill from there.
“Let…me…speak,” Baptista said tersely.
“Are you getting angry, your worship?” Jackson asked.
“No, not at all. It’s a point of procedure, you should look it up,” the mayor retorted.
“Actually, Vicki (Leakey) told me she sent hers in, shared hers with me. Liz told me she sent hers in. I sent mine in and I knew you (referring to the mayor) had done it, so it’s not a matter of the mayor (withholding information). Would you stop it!” Last snapped at Jackson.
“Please don’t me ask you to leave the council chambers,” Mayor Joe Baptista warned Jackson.
Once the councillors calmed down, the hiring of CAO Greg Borduas was approved in a recorded vote of 5-2. Couns. Harold Emmons and John Paul Jackson voting against the motion.