What’s up in the Municipality of South Dundas now?
Fresh off a summer of torrential rain and other activity comes word that the southern township is without a public works director.
Yes, it is said that Chris Bazinet and municipality “mutually agreed” to part ways at the end of August.
He becomes the third manager to split since the 2014 municipal eleciton, which brought in the current crop of council members under the leadership of Mayor Evonne Delegarde.
Before Bazinet, South Dundas’ longtime CAO Stephen McDonald quietly packed up and left, but not before taking countless public thrashings at the council table.
Before McDonald there was South Dundas’ first-ever full-time fire chief Chris McDonough who was brought in to shake up the township’s fire service after years of quality of service and equipment decline.
McDonough was never truly accepted, however, as certain council members didn’t agree with his hiring, nor did firefighters at the municipality’s various detachments.
His life got no easier after the most recent election.
McDonough got locked in his fair share of verbal joisting matches at the council table, going toe-to-toe with councillors Marc St. Pierre and Bill Ewing more than once. Each politician had previously been members of South Dundas’ fire service, and were vocally opposed to McDonough’s plans.
There was also former economic development officer Nicole Sullivan, who it is believed saw the writing on the wall and got out with her head held high. Rumblings also indicate that other employees have had duties slashed as a final means of impending replacement.
All of this makes Bazinet’s departure come as no surprise.
Sitting in the gallery at a South Dundas council meeting is sometimes a front row seat to a verbal pummeling. The now former public works director took countless shots, and gave some back, at a July meeting.
Were each of the now departed employees bad at their jobs? It’s possible.
But what is becoming more and more clear is that certain members of the reigning council have agendas, and if you don’t fall in line, you’re gone.
Of course, it will never be publicy admitted. The stories no doubt have a way of getting out. Quite simply, it makes the municipality look bad.
Will voters agree next year?