The city of Brampton is reviewing what appears to be a gap in the recruitment process for the office of the city council after the council submitted an invoice to pay outside consultants more than $ 20,000 for services rendered to him this year.

During the meeting of the Board Governance and Operations in the day Monday, November 4th they received a report from staff on hiring a consultant by elected councilors. In January, the Brampton member board approved a new model of political staff doubled the staff members of the board office at a cost of $ 1 million.

This change will allow board members to hire an executive assistant and an administrative assistant. Previously, they were aided by assistants together and connecting the board.

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When asked if they had any consultant involved in the current run of the board, Wards 7 and 8 Coun. Charmaine Williams registered has submitted an invoice for $ 10,000.

consultant for over $20,000

City staff then clarified and said that the amount is actually $15,650, but the invoices were unpaid because of some missing HST numbers. According to them, the invoices run from April to October of this year.

Another slide from the staff presentation showed how the consultant would get paid by the city councilor’s office.

City staff then clarified and said that the amount is actually $15,650, but the invoices were unpaid because of some missing HST numbers. According to them, the invoices run from April to October of this year.

Another slide from the staff presentation showed how the consultant would get paid by the city councilor’s office.

Reporting

Staff was also unsure if there is even a contract in place between Williams and the consultant she brought on, as it appeared to be just a ‘handshake agreement,’ which brought up a question from Coun. Pat Fortini on the need to go into an ‘in camera’ session, as it is done mainly for confidentiality reasons such as reviewing the hiring of internal staff in the city.

The report also provided examples at other municipalities when it comes to their procedures on how they handle consultants.

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City of Vaughan

Staff, therefore, presented three options for Brampton to consider:
Options for Consideration

Earlier this year, Davis was present in Williams’ council office on the sixth floor of Brampton City Hall when inbrampton.com and other media outlets were invited to a strange press conference where she announced she wanted to “build a political wall” around the GTA to keep out retail cannabis stores.

I recall waiting in the city’s official press conference room and later escorted to Williams’ office by Davis, where the ‘wall of bricks’ was on display.

The whole situation got even stranger when Coun. Rowena Santos showed up attempting to hand me her press release criticizing Williams’ plan and looked as though she was prevented from entering Williams’ office as Davis appeared to be blocking the door.

Not surprisingly, Santos raised concern during the committee meeting about a consultant’s access to councilors’ offices on the sixth floor of city hall, as in access to materials and information sensitive to the council. “There are concerns with this type of situation,” Santos said, adding that she was concerned about ‘backroom deals’ and the lack of transparency and accountability.

Neither Davis nor Williams’ office, or Williams herself, provided any direct response to inbrampton.com regarding a further comment on this matter.

The committee approved a motion to adopt the City of Toronto’s policy for hiring consultants for councilors, freeze any retention of consulting services for councilors pending a staff report and not pay for the outstanding invoices pending the review.

A staff report to potentially align the retention of consultants with the City of Brampton’s standard hiring practices will be submitted at a later date.

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