An investigation into the source of a city hall leak has concluded that the mayor, her executive assistant and a political ally “may hold the key” to the mystery. A June 19 report by former RCMP chief superintendent Ben Soave’s investigative firm, Ben Soave Associates (BSA), was commissioned by the City of Vaughan to uncover how and why copies of cheques and other documents were delivered to media outlets in anonymous brown envelopes late last year.
The 2010 municipal election is still a year and a half away. That much is certain. What isn’t is who will vie for the nine seats on city council, though speculation has been running high in recent months and shows no sign of cooling off.
The tally so far: nearly three-quarters of a million a dollars. That’s how much the city has paid, as of March 31, for audits of the 2006 campaign books of four Vaughan political heavyweights and related legal fees.
Looking back at 2008, Vaughan Today’s editorial staff faced what turned out to be an easy decision when choosing Newsmaker of the Year. There were worthy runners up, but only nine could come out on top. Love them or hate them, you couldn’t avoid them in 2008.
Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio is fuming at the “smear campaign” directed at her and delivered in nondescript brown envelopes. Vaughan Today received a second anonymous package this week on the heels of one sent to media outlets last month. Both contained documents alleging wrongdoing in the awarding and payment of contracts to companies connected to Steve Frustaglio, the regional councillor’s son.
The latest city hall skirmish has sparked an investigation into the source of an apparent leak. Vaughan Today and other media outlets recently received an anonymous package containing photocopied city cheques totalling $35,478.20 signed by Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio to SLF General Contracting and Vitriflex Surfaces Inc.
It’s routine, predictable and even mundane, but “thank God” it’s happening, Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio says. The province has begun its standard review of the Municipal Elections Act – the law that governs how candidates can raise and spend money – two years ahead of Ontarians’ next trip to the polls.
He’s not saying the mayor should quit. But, Councillor Alan Shefman says, “if I was in her position, if that was me, I would resign.”
A depleted council of just three voted last week to deny self-described watchdog Paul De Buono’s trio of audit requests.
Council’s latest audit request targets were prepared for the inevitable. “Nothing surprises me anymore,” Ward 2 councillor Tony Carella said Monday.
A heated and contentious debate about the appropriate role of Vaughan in advocating specific products flared up again last week. The debate began in September when Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio asked council to defer receiving information on BluWood, a product used in the construction industry, until last week’s committee of the whole meeting.
Dozens of people joined city councillors and staff in the Civic Centre’s council chamber on Tuesday night to catch a glimpse of the City of Vaughan’s future self as outlined in a draft report. Vaughan Vision 2020 lays out the key priorities the city wants to act on in decades to come. Those priorities were determined with input from city staff and surveys of residents conducted by mail and phone.