Press Released Friday: May 12th, 2017

At an open session of Council on Tuesday, May 2nd in discussions around the request from our municipal auditors Collins Barrow, to sign an audit planning letter, Deputy Mayor Sandra Arthur stated that she had done her own investigation and that two lower tier municipalities plus Northumberland County had not been required or asked to sign an audit compliance letter. She concluded that we were the only municipality to be asked to do this.

This was contrary to the information that our Treasurer had supplied and, regarding the County, information that I had supplied at a meeting with the auditors the previous Friday where she was present.

Not only did this public questioning of staff’s capabilities show a complete lack of respect and trust, it also unfortunately had the effect of stirring up adverse and hostile commentary in social media suggesting that something was wrong in Cramahe and calling into question the professionalism and integrity of our staff. This was entirely brought about by completely erroneous claims made by Deputy Mayor Arthur at the last Council Meeting.

Subsequently, a full investigation has been carried out to verify her claims and these claims have been proven to be patently false. The seven Northumberland County municipal treasurers were contacted and six were available to respond. They either use KPMG or Collins Barrow as their audit firm. Of the six who responded, ALL receive a planning letter prior to the audit and except for two of the larger municipalities that have audit committees (with Council representation), the letter is brought to an open meeting of Council for signing by two Council members. Five of the six responding Treasurers said that two Council members’ signatures are required on the letter. The other one has a process where the audit committee meets with the auditors prior to the interim audit.

As stated, the County was also asked to sign a compliance letter. It is unfortunate that this event has occurred but it is important to publicly set the record straight. The Deputy Mayor was offered a chance to do this but refused, thus the reason for this press release. The spreading of false information, whether intentional or not, simply by its inference damages the reputation of all councillors, staff and the Municipality at large. It is every councillors duty to perform their duties in a way that promotes public confidence in Council, staff and the municipality in general.

For more information:
Mayor Marc Coombs
Phone: 905-355-5003 Email: mcoombs@cramahetownship.ca