The Blue Mountains council has approved a revised complaint resolution policy and new policies for respectful public interaction and frivolous, vexatious or unreasonable complaints.
Town staff brought the revised and new policies to council at its committee of the whole meeting on May 31 and members of council were pleased to receive the new policies.
“The town intends, by these policies, to ensure that all interactions with the public are dealt with consistently, fairly, and reasonably and that staff are protected from inappropriate behaviour,” said CAO Shawn Everitt in the report presented to council.
Members of council were pleased to see formal guidelines in place.
“Good policies and good practices make good neighbours. I’m really happy to see staff being protected with this policy,” said Coun. Paula Hope, who asked if it was possible for council to receive an annual report containing more data about complaints and how they were resolved.
Hope suggested such a report could resemble the integrity commissioner’s report council receives each year.
Everitt said Hope’s suggestion has merit and he would think about what kind of format such a report would take. The CAO noted that staff often deal with complaints and inquiries informally with most being handled without any escalation into a formal process.
“I’m quite impressed with the approach we often take to try and resolve issues informally,” said Everitt.
Mayor Alar Soever was pleased to see a policy on frivolous, vexatious and unreasonable complaints. The mayor noted it made a lot of sense to have that policy in place to deal with those rare extreme cases of complaints.
“When it comes to staff time, we can’t expect them to spend countless hours to the detriment of their work. This policy is very fair and balanced,” he said.
Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca