March 18, 2018 – Comments on Brighton Independent Article (March 16, 2018)

On March 16, 2018 an article was published in the Brighton Independent.  The article was written by Sarah Hyatt and was titled "Acrimony between council and staff underlying reason for staff departures" 2018-03-16 Article by Sarah Hyatt in Brighton Independent  This prompted the following comments on our Facebook page.

It is time to sort through the issues causing acrimony on council and between council and senior staff in Brighton.  I truly believe that the majority of staff are not mistreated by anyone - at least I hope so, but toxicity at the top filters down.  Most people go to work, do their jobs well, share camaraderie and go home feeling satisfied in a good day's work.  This doesn't happen in a toxic environment, and damaging stress is the result on employees.  I for one hope this gets resolved, for the sake of the good people of Brighton.

Getting to the "root" of what is causing it is essential. How to establish trust again, in all corners?  Perhaps a mediator - not a consultant that's going to cost taxpayers extra money. How about a senior HR manager from Municipal Affairs, or even from Northumberland County, to temporarily assist?  I have been a proponent of some sort of oversight from upper tier governments, particularly when local municipalities find themselves in a situation such as exists in Brighton. I have had this discussion with MPP Lou Rinaldi, CAO Jennifer Moore (N.C.) and various councillors in differing municipalities.

It is disconcerting that municipalities operate in a "silo" world. I believe there should be a mechanism in place to allow the citizens to get help from above, and the Ombudsman does not appear to be the answer.  Hopefully respect, honesty, openness and transparency will make a comeback this year, and not just because it's an election year, but because it is sorely needed.

Gritt Koehl