Time to clear the air


The head-on approach regarding the Capitol Theatre issue could be the best thing to happen to Chatham-Kent municipal government in some time.

The ongoing questions, (this time surrounding the sale of the Annex and the $1.3-million municipal grant to St. Clair College) aren’t going away.

A number of the charges made by former mayoral candidate Ian McLarty allege incompetence, conflict of interest and even possible criminal conduct. These must be addressed.

There is a significant segment of the community (McLarty being the most visible) that simply doesn’t believe the mayor, council and administration are working in the best interests of taxpayers.

Chatham-Kent CAO Don Shropshire’s approach to The Voice online last week was refreshingly direct, saying that he wants as much detail McLarty can provide him on the allegations.

In the not-too-distant past, the first response to those unhappy with municipal affairs was that the complainant was:

a)    harming the municipality by being negative; or

b)   politically motivated.

First of all, questioning government is every citizen’s right. If you’re elected to public office or are drawing a public salary, get used to it or move on.

Secondly, claiming political motivation only clouds the issue. By waiting until the mayor was in China to make his claims, McLarty has left himself open to that criticism, but it’s something for the community to decide on and isn’t relevant to the actual issues raised.

The onus is now on McLarty to, bluntly, put up or shut up.

McLarty’s claims are so far reaching that it may be the only way to deal with them all is for outside agencies (a provincial judge, the Ontario Provincial Police, municipal conflict of interest officials) to look into the matter.

Whether there is enough to warrant an investigation is up to them.

The community can’t move ahead until this matter is settled and the best way to settle it is head-on.




  1. The problem with McLarty's 'statements' is that they are pure innuendo and half-truth. He keeps saying that he 'can prove it', and I say that when the time comes… he can't! I say this because there is no evidence to support his accusations, and this I know to be FACT! I agree that, politically motivated or not, every individual has the right to question their government. However, to get the people riled up to side with him using lies (yes, I said LIES) is absolutely abhorrent. Boo, Mr. McLarty, boo!

  2. LOL Jenna you are for sure a Mayor Hopeless supporter…. Well I can tell you that there aren't many of you left. There are many issues at hand. How bout this trip to China with all it secrets.. I want to see how much was spent on that. You claim that McLarty is nothing but lies but yet Hopeless and his band of idiots have made more issues then they have solved. And why does St. Clair(a private company) deserve $1.3 million any more then I do to get my business off the ground. Surely there are better ways to spend this money. And back to his trip to China I am sure he didn't fly coach cause he deserves first class. and I am sure he didn't stay in any thing less then a 4 star hotel. And his meals they surely weren't just burgers and KD! My problem is the local government spends money it doesn't have. It needs to wake up and smell the darn coffee and see that Chatham-Kent is a dying community. I myself and several friends are looking at leaving this community. And that's another thing what was the decline in citizens in Chatham-Kent? We need an election before next year so we can put in some people that aren't afraid to fight for what the people want!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here