Dufferin News Mono Municipal Politics

Mono’s Future Councillor Could Lose Pay If Unvaccinated

Mono's Future Councillor Could Lose Pay If Unvaccinated

Those looking to fill the vacant seat on the Mono council may lose pay if they are unvaccinated.

“If we can’t terminate a councillor, we can dock their pay until they comply with the policy,” proclaimed Mono’s newly minted Mayor, John Creelman. “It’s harsh, but I think it works.”

Following the resignation of former Mayor Laura Ryan, Mono Council declared the seat vacant and decided to fill it through selection by nomination and appointment. On September 14, 2021, councillors made decisions surrounding the selection procedures, including exercising a ranked ballot system and not limiting the number of questions posed to each candidate. Council decided that a pre-screening process may be used if there are many applicants and that names would not be released until after that was completed if employed. Those who do not undergo the formal interview process will not have their names released to the public. On a related note, the Mono council discussed how a vaccination policy would apply to councillors.

“I would say if we had a councillor who refused to get vaccinated and you sent them through the education sessions, and they still refused to get vaccinated, he or she should be terminated,” opined Deputy Mayor Fred Nix earlier in the meeting.

Mono Chief Administrative Officer Mark Early explained how council and staff do not have the authority to dismiss councillors permanently as they are not considered staff.

“Do we have the authority to dock pay?” asked Mayor Creelman.

Mono’s CAO responded that it could be possible.

“It’s probably going to be your policy, so I would think yes,” answered CAO Early.

Deputy Mayor Nix expressed that docking a councillor’s pay due to being unvaccinated was an ‘excellent idea.’ Mono Council then agreed to direct staff to work with Dufferin County to develop and implement a vaccination policy in consultation with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. Details such as testing frequency, who will be paying for testing, and consequences for failure to comply are expected to be included in the policy. Before the conversation on the town’s eventual vaccination policy ended, Mono’s Clerk Fred Simpson mentioned that if a council member is absent for three successive months without authorization, the council may declare the seat vacant.

“I would argue that if a councillor went three months without getting vaccinated, we should kick them off council,” responded Deputy Mayor Nix.

Mayor Creelman suggested that docking of pay would stand a better chance of being sustained if challenged in court.

“This is a moot point because we’re all vaccinated,” said Creelman.

Laura Ryan notified the town’s clerk on September 1, 2021, that she was no longer qualified to hold the office of councilmember due to no longer owning property or residing in Mono. On September 3, 2021, the council declared the seat vacant and appointed former Deputy Mayor John Creelman as the new Mayor. Councillor Fred Nix was named Deputy Mayor to fill the vacancy left by Creelman.

Qualified individuals can retrieve the application package from the town’s website for those looking to fill the empty seat on Mono council. Nominations will be accepted at the municipal office until October 7, 2021. Council rejected the idea of accepting electronic submissions of application packages for the vacant council seat. The special meeting where candidates are interviewed and selected by councillors is scheduled for October 19 at 7:00 pm.

References – Mono’s Future Councillor Could Lose Pay If Unvaccinated

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