Unlike York Region Council, the Council of the Town of Whitchurch Stouffville continues to hold meetings during the summer months.
One of the matters covered by Stouffville’s Council during their July 19th meeting was a unanimous decision by Council to proceed to implement a Council Code of Conduct Bylaw and hire an Integrity Commissioner.
The York Region Taxpayers Coalition applauds this decision.
Yet the Town of Whitchurch Stouffville, which collects approximately $23 million in property taxes annually, is small potatoes when compared to the Regional Municipality of York Region, which has annual budgets exceeding $1 billion.
If the Town of Whitchurch Stouffville appreciates the need for its council members to be accountable to the public, then why doesn’t monolithic York Region get with the times? Why can’t their mayor support one for the Region (he was mum about it).
All advocacy by the York Region Taxpayers Coalition to get our Council to consider accountability measures that would be similar to the City of Toronto’s has regrettably fallen on deaf ears.
Our organization is looking for a York Region Council Code of Conduct, appointing an Integrity Commissioner, and the establishment of a lobbyist registry.
We believe that these accountability measures are appropriate considering the size and complexity of the budget this Council is responsible for and the duties that voters have entrusted them with.
So far, many measures to make York Region Council more accountable to the public have been resisted by the elected council members themselves. They have refused to endorsed Bill 42 to allow for the election of the Regional Chair. They have refused to address the need for an Integrity Commissioner and an Auditor General.
Earlier this year, York Region Taxpayers Coaltion was successful in advocating for an appointed York Region Ombudsman. We will continue to advocate for measures of accountability in York Region.