In 2015, we asked the township to provide us with the budget information in "Excel" format so that we could continue allowing residents to calculate their own unique costs. That request, made in writing to the finance department NEVER received a response
Clearview administration - the ultimate "moving target"
In 2014 clearviewtownship.com took the data from the Townships' budget reports and created an interactive web page that allowed residents to put in their ACTUAL tax and water/sewer costs to calculate the REAL increases in the costs of living in Clearview brought about by the 2014 budget.
That written acceptance to provide us with the information EXACTLY as we had requested it without any change or request for clarification of what we had specified, did not change what we had asked for so, like fools, we believed CAO Sage and Mr Henley and THOUGHT that we would be getting the Excel files in time for us to prepare AODA compliant information to be used by an INFORMED PUBLIC in the 2017 budget discussions!
ALL that we received was a crude re-format of the pages from the first budget presentation that simply told us HOW we were about to see our tax dollars wasted, no numbers, just the dreams of staff in their rush to take over Clearview without having to provide the facts about how it was being done.
The latest "re-write" of what we will be given was recently delivered by CAO Sage:
"......you will be provided with the same budget documents as members of Council.
You will not be receiving the spreadsheets in excel format that are used to calculate the numbers."
The 2017 public component part of the 2017 budget process is long past, so does this mean that we'll only get budget information for the 2018 budget a year after we asked for it?
IF THE FINAL NUMBERS, WITHOUT ANY OF THE FORMULAE FROM WHICH THESE NUMBERS WERE CALCULATED, IS ALL THAT CAO SAGE HAS DETERMINED WILL BE GIVEN TO COUNCIL, how can they undertake any form of serious review of the STAFF GENERATED budget to spend OUR tax dollars?
It is our ability to take the raw data and the formulae used to calculate the provided budget information and convert it into REAL information of interest to taxpayers that neither CAO Sage nor Mr Henley want to allow since it shows exactly how much their bureaucracy is costing us and the impact of those costs on each individual taxpayer.
CAO Sage is incapable of making the most basic decisions without taking the decision making responsibility back to the Accessibility Committee or to council on any AODA related matters and that includes even "honouring" what he agreed to in the first place and has then changed.
So, it appears he is, once again, going to FORCE us to go through the expensive and time wasting Freedom of Information process to get what he "promised" to us just 6 months ago.
It's time to replace this $170,000/year burden on Clearview taxpayers with a few full-time council members who will take back the assumed power of the current bureaucracy, abide by the law and stick by what is promised, to give this community the information needed to understand why our taxes are always increasing and the staff numbers are forever bloating upwards.
UPDATE! So we went ahead and filed an FOI request addressed to the "head for FOI" namely COUNCIL AS A WHOLE for the information already promised by CAO Sage and Mr Henley and have just received a letter from Mr Sage.
In that letter HE is refusing to allow us to file the request with the Council as a Whole who we understand from the ongoing appeals with the Privacy Commissioner is the ONLY LEGAL Head for FOI under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (MFIPPA) section 3.
This decision by a non-elected member of staff who is not even named in any bylaw as having even delegated powers from Council to decide on an FOI request now has to be appealed with the Privacy Commissioner - AND ON AND ON IT GOES WITH ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BEING DONE BY ANY ELECTED COUNCILLOR to meet the requirements of the law!
In 2017, with the adoption of the accessibility laws in 2005 and being disabled ourselves we saw the opportunity to use the same "technology" that we had used previously as a way to create AODA compliant budgetary information for the 17% of residents who suffer from some form of disability in Clearview.
So, we were now getting used to the refusal of the Township to become AODA compliant. PRIOR to the 2017 budget discussions we submitted yet another request through Councillor Paterson for copies of the budget discussion information in Excel format that we could make AODA compliant for publication on our site for use in the PUBLIC budget discussions and received a response that infuriated us:
"CAO Sage and Mr Henley have agreed to provide!"
to which we responded:
IT’S THE LAW, there is no choice or need for agreement by civil servants to provide or not!