Windsor mayoral candidates share different opinions on Auditor General
Mayoral candidate Matt Marchand pledges to appoint auditor general in first 100 days if elected in Windsor, Ont., on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. (Rich Garton / CTV Windsor)
Published Thursday, August 9, 2018 4:56PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 9, 2018 5:15PM EDT
A mayoral candidate in Windsor is pledging to appoint an auditor general within the first 100 days of taking office.
Matt Marchand made the announcement Thursday, asking why the current administration hasn't taken the steps to appoint an auditor general over the past four years.
"As mayor, I will set the tone from the top and establish a culture and transparency and accountability," says Marchand.
He pledges if elected, an independent auditor will report to council and the community by providing value for money audits, ensuring proper process for decision making and review purchasing bylaws.
Marchand also says within six months, the AG would look at the books of Enwin, Adventure Bay and Windsor Airport -- while also investigating what he calls the "Pelissier Parking Garage mystery.”
“Under the municipal act, the auditor general will have the power of subpoena, and we can open the books up and look at everything that's going on,” adds the former President and CEO of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Marchand tells CTV News it's a matter of good corporate governance.
“This is going to have sweeping authority to look at all city entities,” says Marchand. “We've heard in the community that they sense that something just isn't right with the way the processes are going on. We don't know if it is or isn't, but let's get an auditor general in there and find out."
The sitting city council has veered away from hiring an auditor general since the previous one was fired in 2013. The city has instead opted for PriceWaterhouse Coopers to handle auditing functions.
Incumbent mayor Drew Dilkens tells CTV News if elected, he would continue that practice.
“My competitor has a short memory, because when he was in the mayor's office, because there was MFP, Candarel, there was ballooning debt, a high tax rate, and certainly the infrastructure deficit was nearing its peak,” says Dilkens. “So I'm very open and transparent, I look forward to having this discussion with the public and I will always support some sort of audit function like PWC for the benefit of taxpayers in this city."
There is already an auditor general campaign in Windsor, called "voteAG”, which was started by resident Howard Weeks.
He's asking all 60 municipal candidates in the upcoming city election to proclaim their support for an auditor general so voters can know where they stand on the issue.
Windsor has been without since 2012, when then auditor Todd Langlois was abruptly fired without cause in a 10-1 council vote. Since then, auditing services have been handled externally by PricewaterhouseCoopers at a cost just shy of $300,000 annually.
An attempt by the current council to bring the position back failed in a 6-5 vote.
The Facebook group for 'voteAG' has hundreds of members.
Dilkens and Marchand are running for mayor along with three other candidates -- Frank Dyck, Tom Hensel and Ernie Lamont.
Municipal Election Day is Oct. 22.