2 Under the Municipal Act, a municipality and relevant employees and councillors can be held responsible under financial penalty for the "loss" or destruction of any record. When I send an email to anyone at the Municipality of Clearview using their PUBLISHED email addresses and receive a confirming receipt from their "firstname.lastname@example.org, I consider that communication to be a "record", as defined in various acts, that has been delivered to the corporation and as such is a "record of the corporation accessible by an FOI request" .
With the ever increasing number of records that Ms Fettes in her role as the "illegally delegated Head for FOI" is unable to find when required to do so by FOI requests, it would appear that the Mayor, using his assumed right to determine who and what gets received by the municipality constituting a "record" through his use of "blocking of communications channels" may well be leaving the taxpayers of Clearview open to potentials of as much as $5,000 for each lost or destroyed record!
Earlier this year I was DIRECTED IN WRITING by the now former Minister of Municipal Affairs, Bill Mauro to ask Ms Pamela Fettes, Clerk for the Township of Clearview questions related to the SECRET IN-CAMERA meeting that resulted in my being banned by the council.
Two days after that request was made I received a response signed by Mayor Vanderkruys NOT Clerk Fettes that expanded the ban that I was under:
The level of "maturity" Clearview taxpayers are getting for $340,0001 per year!
"As per the Unreasonable Customer Service Policy, the decision has been made to implement following:
1. All future correspondence (including, but not restricted to electronic e-mail and written hard copy documents) for the Township of Clearview including Council and staff, will be addressed to the CAO.
2. Correspondence will be limited to 1 question per month and will be limited to 20 words or less.
3. Email addresses belonging to you will be blocked from all Clearview staffs' e-mail addresses2 with the exception of the CAO."
Since all I had done was to follow the WRITTEN DIRECTION of a senior Ontario Minister and there has never been any response to my letter other than this expansion of the previous ban, I take it that Mayor Vanderkruys and council are comfortable in giving "one finger salutes" to the senior level of government!
Since then, the Ministry also directed me in a PUBLIC MEETING to contact Ms. Pamela Fettes as the returning officer for Clearview with the questions regarding "third party advertising" that the three ministry representatives could not answer and as usual Ms Fettes has ignored that request TWICE, so I guess she also feels that single finger salutes to the 3 representatives of a senior ministry are also acceptable and are obviously SUPPORTED BY THIS COUNCIL!
Last year I had advised CAO Sage that the www.clearviewclerk.ca web site had been HACKED. It was what we in the business call a "benign hack" in that it simply left a message RIGHT ON THE FRONT PAGE that told the viewer the site had been hacked and who had done it! I even received a letter from the Mayor thanking me for reporting the issue.
What was concerning was the fact that the hack had been right there on the front page for almost 3 weeks before I reported it, confirming that the Township staff responsible for web related matters were not doing a good job at monitoring their web sites.
That particular "hack" in web sites running Wordpress (which is what the clearviewclerk.ca site uses) is due to the failure to keep the software updated and current, not a real issue on that poorly constructed site but of MAJOR concern if software updates are not being done on the operating systems that might be subject to malware and ransomware exploits.
The question that needs to be asked - If Clearview staff can't even monitor and remove simple hacks on their web sites what hope is there that a ransomware attack similar to the one that just hit Wasaga Beach is not going to get past whatever defenses are in place at Clearview.
The moral of this example - Don't ask questions or identify what's wrong with the Sage/Vanderkruys administration or staff EVEN WHEN DIRECTED TO DO SO BY THE SENIOR MINISTRY or you could be the next resident banned, without notice of trial, chance to defend yourself or even being told how you can appeal the rubber stamped decision of council EVEN IF you are simply following the written instructions of a senior Ontario government minister!
Wasaga taxpayers got hit for $250,000, where does Clearview stand if attacked?
Earlier this year, a "BUG" was discovered in the "BrowseAloud" software used on the Clearview Township websites to "read" the website content back to the viewer. The "BUG" allowed a "bitcoin" miner to access the computer of anyone that had download the software from the Clearview web site and took over most of its computing power to start "mining" bitcoin. All of that without the user even knowing it was happening
Other sites such as that of the Ontario Privacy Commissioner removed the "BrowseAloud" software download and had advisory notices front and centre on THEIR web sites within 24 hours of the bug becoming known.
As you can appreciate the letter that I sent to CAO Sage was lengthy (more that the 20 words that I am allowed to use)and advised him of the issues related to the "BrowseAloud" software being disseminated by the Clearview Township websites and of the potential breaches in privacy and "takeover" of their computers for Bitcoin mining by that software.
Here is the reply that I received from the CAO!
Another reason why Clearview taxpayers need to be concerned about their CAO!
With this level of "business immaturity" and total lack of concern by the most senior member of staff for the damage done by the software that HIS staff had chosen and implemented, Taxpayers should be VERY, VERY concerned that the systems in place at the Township of Clearview along with the current competence level of staff could withstand even the simplest malware or ransomware attack.
1That's the estimated costs to the taxpayers of Clearview Township for CAO Sage ($170,000), Clerk Pamela Fettes ($142,000) and Mayor Vanderkruys ($30,000) in 2017 (the latest year for which publicly accessible and verifiable records are available).