HUNTSVILLE – It seems waves of queries about the goings on in Huntsville’s town hall are prompting a plethora of questions that the mayor now wants screened by council.
Mayor Claude Doughty asked councillors at an Oct. 15 council meeting to start sending any questions they receive about the management of the municipality to the corporate services committee and executive staff.
“Right now it’s a bit of a free-for-all in terms of staff expending a lot of time answering specific questions about how many personnel, how many are full-time equivalents, how many are hired, what’s going on with this, what’s going on with that,” said Doughty. “My plan will be, subject to council’s concurrence, that those matters will be addressed at the committee level.”
Doughty asked councillors who receive questions of this nature to forward them to the corporate service committee chair, the chief administrative officer and the executive director of corporate services.
“The committee chair can determine how those need to be handled in terms of committee format,” said Doughty. “I would ask all of you to respect that protocol going forward and that will make things a little more organized in terms of our staff time.”
He compared the new protocol to the one being used by councillors to file complaints from residents about road conditions and potholes.
Doughty’s comments during the council meeting suggested town staff and councillors have received several questions following a restructuring of town hall departments earlier this year. Nine people lost their jobs because of the restructuring.
A resident also filed a freedom of information request related in part to the termination costs associated with the restructuring, a move emphasizing the public’s interest about the decision.