July 09, 2014

CVC won’t penalize mayor in Code dispute

As published in The Erin Advocate

The current Board of Directors at Credit Valley Conservation will take no action against Mayor Lou Maieron for his refusal to sign their Code of Conduct, but he will not be welcome to rejoin the board if he is re-elected this fall and still refuses to sign.

Last year, Maieron challenged the board’s legal right to adopt a Code of Conduct, and the requirement that each member sign it. He agreed that he was bound by the Code, but said he should not be forced to sign something with which he disagreed.

The board said it was confident of its right to enact the Code, and after a complaint against Maieron from Halton Hills Councillor Joan Robson, set up a special committee to investigate the matter. They suggested a process that could have ended with a request that Erin council appoint someone other than the mayor, but the full board could not come to agreement on a response and decided to defer the issue indefinitely.

“This complaint will end with the election,” said Deborah Martin-Downs, Chief Administrative Officer at CVC. Maieron has not announced whether he intends to seek re-election. Normally, Erin council appoints its mayor to represent the Town at the CVC, but it can appoint someone else.

“Prior to the appointments, CVC will send a letter to each municipality to inform them of the CVC Code of Conduct so that prospective members of the board are made aware of the expectation to sign it and obligation to adhere to it prior to seeking an appointment,” said Martin-Downs.

“Should a prospective member refuse to sign it, then CVC will request the municipality to replace that individual. CVC still feels that it is important to outline expectations of members in a Code of Conduct and consider it an important tool along with comparable codes being used by our municipal partners.”

The Code of Conduct also prohibits board members from suing the CVC, a measure strongly opposed by Maieron. Last year he did name CVC in a personal lawsuit, in a dispute with the Town of Erin regarding an easement on his property. Recently he said that CVC would probably be dropped from the lawsuit.

Martin-Downs said the board was made aware of the lawsuit, but there has been no specific complaint under the Code of Conduct and the board did not resolve to take any action against the mayor.