Nancy Wright Laking is retiring.
The clerk in Lakeshore (Forest, Grand Bend and Thedford) is leaving after 18 months.
If her name sounds familiar it should.
She is the former clerk of Sarnia, the former clerk of Minden and the former clerk of Peterborough.
Her tenure is usually 18 months, although she only made it 17 months in Sarnia before creating havoc, accusing the mayor of harassment and leaving.
Ultimately she took a pay cut and moved to Lakeshore.
There she proceeded to do much of what she did here… be annoying and disruptive.
Before the ink was barely dry on her contract she was calling for legislation to control ratepayers that asked difficult questions or made requests she considered too onerous for her ridged schedule.
Immediately she tangled with former Grand Bend Reeve and Councillor Bob Sharen.
It quickly became apparent that Sharen was one of those ratepayers Wright Laking was hoping to control, someone whose requests could be minimized or ignored.
But Sharen, a realtor and businessman was having none of it and wasn’t about to be censored by a newbie Clerk on a power trip.
“The last time I checked the Charter of Rights gave me the right to public speech,” he wrote in an email to Wright – Laking that he copied to First Monday.
Ultimately, Lakeshore followed the Code of Conduct and “unreasonable customer service policy” Wright Laking brought with her from Sarnia. However, Sharen was unrelenting publicly chastising and publicly denouncing the clerk.
I can’t prove it but I suspect what happened to Wright Laking in Lakeshore happened to her in Sarnia. Her controlling, anti freedom of speech beliefs caught the ire of Sharen there and Mayor Mike Bradley here.
In Sarnia it appears Wright Laking colluded with her colleagues City Manager Margaret Misek – Evans and former Recreation Director Beth Gignac to bring in an expensive Integrity Commissioner and even more expensive lawyers to charge the Mayor with harassment.
You see Bradley is still in politics. Sharen isn’t.
If you don’t believe Wright Laking and Gignac colluded against the Mayor consider the following comments posted on Facebook after Bradley had his pay docked for a second time in less than a year.
On Facebook Gignac commented to Councillors Matt Mitro, Brian White, Anne Marie Gillis, Cindy Scholten – Holt and Bev MacDougall “kudos for continuing to do the right things and advocating for the right things to be done! It is painful work and you may feel under appreciated but you are planting trees of goodness for the benefit of future generations”.
Under appreciated for pissing away $300,000.00 in taxpayer money on an Integrity Commissioner and lawyers or under appreciated by the community for wasting public money?
I could suggest here that Gignac’s Facebook response and those of the “Fab 5” Councillors provide sufficient insight.
Sholten – Holt to Gignac: “what a pleasant post to run across during such stressful times. Thank you for that and all you have done. You are a role model. A woman of integrity and much strength. I am sure wherever you are and whatever you do is making a difference. Just as you have made a difference in Sarnia and in my life personally. I am so grateful for that”.
Wright Laking to Gignac: “I echo your comments Beth and those that are brave and strong enough to come forward knowing the consequences that lie before them”.
Anne Marie Gillis to Gignac: “Your comments are very much appreciated. Truly saddened that there is no straight path forward, but the shortest path may be the convenient one, not the right one”.
Brian White to Gignac: “Thank you Beth. I am reminded daily of the depth and honour of my role. Much of it is lamentable, but so much more is beautiful, as we affect people positively in some of the most personal and valuable ways. This upper level stuff can get ugly. But it will never take away the joy from so many intimate connections I’ve made simply by listening”.
Matt Mitro to Gignac: “Thanks Beth”.
I’m not sure what to tell you here. You can’t make this stuff up. A nice addition would be soft music behind these comments.
Clearly what appears to be happening is the “Fab 5” Councillors Matt Mitro, Cindy Scholten – Holt, Anne Marie Gillis, Brian White and Bev MacDougall along with Gignac, Wright Laking, and Misek – Evans have an agenda.
That agenda is to spend whatever it takes to charge the Mayor with harassment, control his access to City Hall, don’t speak to him, dock his meager pay and make his life as miserable as humanly possible.
I’m not into social media but here the trail leads to the instigators who plotted to get rid of the Mayor.
Wright Laking would probably have done the same in Lakeshore but the target of her rage turned out to be more formidable than her.
Here is a piece of advice.
Never poke at someone who can poke you back.
In Lakeshore Nancy Wright Laking clashed with a retired businessman and retired municipal Reeve who simply couldn’t give a damn.
Wright Laking should do taxpayers everywhere a favour.