No grandstanding while in uniform

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Sir: As you know, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent is currently considering a proposal to either bring EMS services in-house as a stand-alone unit, blend it with existing fire services, or renew the contract with an external service provider.

These options are currently being explored by staff under the direction of mayor and council. No final decision has been made yet.

We understand that members of the public, including current Chatham-Kent paramedics, have various views in regard to the future of EMS services in Chatham-Kent. Our municipality encourages debate, discussion and public input. We believe that this is necessary to the democratic process. We welcome this healthy dialogue and we seek input from all interested parties.

The municipality has a policy of not allowing employees or contract employees who wear a Chatham-Kent uniform to voice their political views while in uniform. The reason for this policy is to ensure that the public is not confused about whether the opinion being expressed is a personal opinion or official municipal position.

Therefore, we are asking that uniformed members of emergency services, and other employees who wear Chatham-Kent uniforms, refrain from expressing their personal political opinions in regard to this matter while in uniform and/or on duty.

Of course employees are free to express their political views in this matter, or on any other matter, while not in uniform and/or not on duty. They are free to attend our council meetings and otherwise publicly make their opinion heard when not in uniform.

I don’t believe that Chief Stuebing was intimidating or harassing anyone. I believe the chief was simply reiterating our corporate policy about not having uniformed employees or contract employees express personal political opinions while in uniform and/or on duty.

John Norton

Chief Legal Officer

Municipality of Chatham-Kent

Comments

comments

1 COMMENT

  1. I am wondering if you can answer a question for me straightforward. Why then was chief Steubing able to speak in front of the Rotary Club about the EMS Proposal??? He's a municipal employee. Double Standards

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