Admin shut out of council e-mails

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A short-lived policy that added members of administration to e-mails sent to council members has been reversed, Chatham-Kent CAO Don Shropshire says.

“The issue was raised at council Monday night (June 8) and there were concerns that the public wasn’t aware of the change,” he said. “We returned to the previous practice where no staff were receiving e-mails to council.”

Shropshire said the change had initially been made to help make sure administration was aware of issues brought to council, but he had no problem reversing the practice.

“It’s purely council’s decision,” he said.

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Chatham Coun. Doug Sulman had brought the matter forward. He said adding administration members to the council list could compromise correspondence privacy expectations.

“I had polled a number of councillors who supported my belief so I brought it up to see if there was opposition to switching back,” he said. “There wasn’t.

“We operate on the basis that issues raised to a councillor by a constituent are private until such time as both agree it should be shared. In my opinion it works well.”

Shropshire said staff is requesting that council members forward any issues requiring administration action to the appropriate staff members.

“There has been confusion a couple of times when it was assumed both staff and council knew about a particular matter but that wasn’t the case. We just want to make sure we don’t miss anything.”

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