No legal advice yet on succession bylaw

FORT FRANCES—Whether or not council can create a succession bylaw, as requested by several local citizens back on Jan. 28, remains to be seen as the town awaits legal advice from its solicitor.
The issue was on the agenda for the regular meeting of the town’s Administration and Finance executive committee on Tuesday, but only was addressed briefly.
Clerk Glenn Treftlin said, as council directed, that he referred materials to town solicitor Wesley Derksen for his opinion on Jan. 30, but has yet to hear back from him.
Treftlin added he contacted his office, and Derksen was not available to speak to on Tuesday. Derksen also has not provided a timeline as to when the town could expect a response regarding the matter.
Treftlin also said he’s learned through the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO) that another municipality is investigating the same issue and had received advice from its solicitor regarding the legality of the proposed policy.
But attempts to contact the appropriate person also have been unsuccessful to date.
“I’m not in a position at this time to really recommend council take any further action on it until such time as we do get a response from our legal advisor and other sources that have been contacted,” said Treftlin.
As a point of interest, he noted he heard just Tuesday morning that the City of Thunder Bay is investigating the possibility of a succession bylaw.
“I don’t see how we can proceed right now. We can’t be in contravention of the Municipal Act, that’s for sure. I’d wait until we get some advice,” said Coun. Paul Ryan, who along with Coun. Sharon Tibbs, the committee chair, and Coun. Ken Perry, comprises the Administration and Finance executive committee (Coun. Perry was not in attendance as he is out of town for the next two months).
Tuesday’s meeting also was attended by ex-officio committee member Mayor Roy Avis, Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig, interim human resources officer Brian Hagarty, treasurer Laurie Witherspoon, administrative assistant Lori Pattison, and guest councillors Andrew Hallikas and Rick Wiedenhoeft.
Concerned citizens Allan T. Bedard, Bob Dakin, Bill Krukoski, and Larry Wood also were on hand.
(Fort Frances Times)