Tag Archives: Leanne Piper

How the gang of eight illegally dumped Coun. Kovach from the Police Board

Who is the “gang of eight”? Here are the names of the Farbridge controlled group on council: Mayor Farbridge, Councillors Leanne Piper, Lise Burcher, Maggie Laidlaw, June Hoffland, Ian Findlay, Todd Dennis and Karl Wettstein.

They all voted recently to throw Coun. Gloria Kovach off the Guelph Police Services Board. Ms. Kovach was appointed to the board last January for a four-year term. It was a unanimous decision at the time by members of Council.

Council procedural rules require any change in previous decisions must be approved by at least nine members of Council.

Here’s what happened: Coun. Leanne Piper moved in a striking committee meeting to remove her colleague claiming she was only elected for a one-year term.

When the full Council was presented with the proposal, Coun. Bob Bell produced a copy of the minutes confirming Ms. Kovach for four years on the Police Board, but it was ignored.

Instead, the gang of eight voted 8 to 5 to remove Coun. Kovach.

Immediately, in another 8 to 5 vote, surprise! Coun. Leanne Piper was appointed to the Police Services Board.

But in doing so, Council did not follow its own procedural bylaw.

This should be overturned. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs should investigate this travesty in which a senior member of Council was unceremoniously dumped for pure political vengeance.

Where were the city solicitor and clerk when this was going on? MIA – missing in action.

Let’s check the Baloney Scale: Drum roll, please.

It’s a ten!

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Piper’s political power play is the essence of sleaze

If citizens ever need another example of sleaze in city politics, look no further than the firing of Coun. Gloria Kovach off the Guelph Police Services board.

Ms. Kovach, a senior member of city council and veteran of serving on the police board for seven years, was the victim of a heartless and vengeful coup orchestrated by Coun. Leanne Piper.

Coun. Kovach has been an outspoken critic of the Farbridge administration and this was the classic set-up to seek revenge and put her in her place.

Kovach was voted off the board by an 8 to 5 margin. As usual the eight Farbridge supporters lined up to support their ambitious colleague.

Surprise! Then they voted by the same 8 to 5 margin to appoint Coun. Piper to the police services board.

This comes on the heels of the compost plant debacle in which $32 million has been spent to build a wet waste facility that is still stinking up the neighbourhood.

More surprising is the role of rookie Coun. Todd Dennis in the past year. After being elected on the promise to control finances, reduce taxes and promote construction of the south end recreation centre, he folded like a cheap tent.

Dennis, along with his ward six colleague, Karl Wettstein, has meekly gone along with the Farbridge majority. He was seduced by newfound power and nurtured by the Mayor with the promise of a committee chairmanship. Neither ward six councillors dance to the Farbridge agenda like puppets on a string.

This was a planned dénouement of a popular and proficient councillor. It is the worst kind of sleaze politics that doesn’t belong in our civic government. It was done with full knowledge of the Mayor who controls all appointments to committees, boards and commissions.

Coun. Piper’s naked ambition to seize power is mindful of her promoting moving the Guelph civic Museum to the derelict Loretto Convent. She convinced council to preserve a pre-confederation heritage building that was slated by the owner for demolition. Now, almost five years later at a cost of some $16 million, the project is still not open. Any resemblance of the original heritage building has been destroyed with 21st century architectural add-ons.

Piper manipulated her colleagues by claiming that Coun. Kovach was only appointed in January for a one-year term, not the usual four years.

Coun. Jim Furfaro showed a page from the minutes that proved the reappointment of Coun. Kovach was for a four term and was approved by council. That did not deter Coun. Piper and the Farbridge cronies from dumping Coun. Kovach.

This single event should be remembered as an example of how the city is administered by a controlling group of councillors who will stop at nothing to satisfy their personal agendas and egos.

Here are the names of those councillors who courageously voted against this egregious power play: Bob Bell, Jim Furfaro, Cam Guthrie, Andy Van Hellemond and Gloria Kovach.

Remember those names October 2014. Then voters can elect principled candidates who will represent taxpayer interests in a fair and equitable manner.

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