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City of Welland

November 24, 201724 November 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Welland to appoint a new member of council. The meeting was closed under the personal matters exception. During the closed session, council voted by way of secret ballot to select a candidate to fill the council vacancy. The Ombudsman found that the vote was improper as it was not taken during a properly closed meeting and was not for a procedural matter or to provide direction to staff. The Ombudsman also found that ballot voting is prohibited by the Municipal Act, 2001, with limited exceptions, and such votes are of no effect.

City of Timmins

January 23, 201723 January 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Timmins to discuss the recruitment process for replacing a staff member. The meeting was closed under the personal matters exception. During the meeting, council used a secret ballot process to elect committee members to a hiring committee. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the cited exception. Accordingly, the voting was not permissible. Further, the Municipal Act, 2001 prohibits voting by way of secret ballot.

Township of Baldwin

December 09, 201409 December 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Baldwin. The meeting was closed under the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. During the meeting, council voted to select a candidate for the position of municipal works foreman using a secret ballot. Council then directed staff to offer the position to the candidate who won the secret ballot. The Ombudsman found that a direction to staff is permitted in a closed meeting, however, this direction came from a secret ballot vote which is a violation of the Municipal Act, 2001.