Public Statement on Release of Ombudsman Report
April 21, 2017 (Guysborough, NS) – The Municipality of the District of Guysborough is very proud of the accomplishments of our Municipality in recent years particularly related to economic development and provision of municipal services. The efforts of Council is reflected in the fact that our Municipality has the lowest residential tax rate ($0.61 per $100 of Assessment) in the province and 65% of our Municipality’s revenue is received from sources other than taxes, mostly related to our business investments. Unlike the large regional municipalities and cities etc. the Municipality does not have an economic development agency such as a port corporation, greater regional partnership, or other related organization that it would provide a grant to and thus move direct expenses away from the Municipal financial statements. All of our economic development and business work is done in house and all associated expenses are accounted for on our books, and our officials are directly accountable for same.
Warden Pitts stated: “I am very pleased that the Ombudsman’s Office has released the final Ombudsman’s report on expenses of Municipal officials (former Warden, current Warden, Council & CAO) as requested by the Municipality as the Report confirms allegations received from a resident by the Ombudsman’s office were unfounded and there was no misappropriation of Municipal funds.”
The Ombudsman’s report concludes with five (5) recommendations for the Municipality related to expenses. The Municipality had already amended policies which included most of the recommendations of the Ombudsman’s Office therefore the Municipality had reviewed the preliminary draft report and requested that the Ombudsman’s Office release the report as soon as possible to provide clarification on the matter.
In closing, the Municipality has annual audits completed by Grant Thornton’s Chartered Accountants and as indicated in the Ombudsman’s Report all annual audits have confirmed that all expenditures were accurately accounted for and both reports commended the Municipality for the successful economic development activities related to solid waste, wind energy, industrial parks (Melford, Goldboro, Black Point) etc. Additional activity results in additional expenses, but we have been very fortunate to have exceptional success resulting in a very low, stable tax rate and exceptional return on investment for our residents.
We will have no further comment on this matter!
Council for the Municipality of the District of Guysborough
For further information please contact Barry Carroll, CAO at firstname.lastname@example.org or
(902) 533-3705 ext. 228