Source: Grimsby CAO Harry Schlange with Former Treasurer, Steven Gruninger

While the revolving door of Municipal Staffing seems to be turning quite quickly at Town Hall, it did come as a surprise to many when Grimsby’s former Director of Planning, Building & By-law, Antonietta Minichillo, left for greener pastures at the Town of Caledon earlier this year.

As a result of the move, the Director position became vacant on February 24th. There was no report to Council on who would be filling that important role prompting Councillor Bothwell to make the following “information request” at the April 4th Committee of the Whole meeting.

At the Council meeting on April 18th, Councillor Bothwell followed up on her requests. The CAO offered to send an email on them, but Bothwell insisted the information be made public and put on the record.

Although we now know the CAO was well aware of who the Acting Director (of Building and Planning) was and could have verbally disposed of the information request there and then, he casually said “mmm… okay, but I will bring it on May 2nd”. This left Councillor Bothwell looking puzzled as per the clip below.

May 2, 2022 Report

The agenda for the May 2, 2022 agenda was posted yesterday evening and contains a report on both those information items, which is linked here. On the Acting Director, the report stated:

The CAO put himself into the Acting Director of Planning and Building, moved By-law under the Clerk and waited over two months to tell Council… and only after Councillor Bothwell makes an inquiry. It sounds like “bad banking” all over again.

Out of last Monday’s review of the Ombudsman’s Report came a motion from Councillor Ritchie for Staff to review and strengthen the Council-Staff Partnership and Relationship Policy and provide “initial and periodic training”. It looks like this training is needed sooner rather than later, given the roles of Staff as below:

While the report in the agenda states that recruitment is ongoing (job posting here), “the CAO will remain in this role to provide oversight to the affiliated departments”. It is a trivial statement given that as the CAO, he already has oversight over all departments, so why the need to try and wear a second hat as Acting Director of Planning and Building?