June 29, 201829 June 2018
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of the North Shore relying on the personal matters exception to discuss a vacant council seat. During the closed session, council decided by consensus to fill the vacancy by way of appointment and to direct the mayor to approach a specific individual to determine their interest in the position. Council did not formally vote on these matters. The Ombudsman found that the discussion about whether to proceed by way of appointment should not have been held in closed session, and consequently, this vote should have been in open session. The Ombudsman found that council’s decision to direct the mayor to approach a specific individual, was permissible under s.239(6) of the Municipal Act, 2001.