Council position doesn’t grant privileges
Parry Sound Coun. Dave Williams’ refusal to pay a $5 refundable deposit when dropping off firewood to campers at an area campground has cost the town $2,600.
The campground owner filed a complaint with the town after the September 2, 2011 confrontation. According to the town’s integrity commissioner, Williams was considered ‘unprofessional’, ‘out of control’, ‘argumentative’ and dropped his title as town councilor when dealing with park staff.
Williams denies using his title as town councillor that night and the integrity commissioner ruled that, if indeed it did come up, that it was just to imply he was a trustworthy person not a blatant abuse of power.
In the end, he was allowed onto the property without paying the refundable deposit.
It seems ironic that a councillor who opposes spending a penny of public money unless he feels it’s absolutely necessary and pushed for the review of at least one town policy to find cost savings has cost taxpayers thousands of dollars because he didn’t want to hand over $5.
Williams told the North Star that he’s learned a lesson and apologized to everyone involved. We hope it truly was an error and that it won’t happen again.
We’re glad that the campground’s owner stepped forward and rang the alarm bell.
It’s important that those we elect to office don’t feel it gives them any special rights within the community that aren’t afforded to the general public.
Members of council, we must remember, are held to a higher standard of accountability than the regular citizen and must conduct themselves appropriately, whether dropping off firewood or representing the town on the national stage.