Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn arrived at regional council chambers Thursday night armed with answers and a 295-page report.
In the end, he could only sit silently as Port Colborne Coun. David Barrick’s attempt to call the Town of Pelham on the carpet over its financial dealings was deferred to a June 12 committee meeting.
Barrick and Grimsby Coun. Tony Quirk addressed the motion, but the third speaker on the list, Niagara Falls Coun. Selina Volpatti, shut down discussion before Augustyn could respond. The motion for deferral — it immediately stifles debate — passed 16-12.
Barrick, who chairs Niagara Region’s budget committee, insisted his motion was an opportunity to provide clarity to residents. The Region underwrites the debt for Niagara’s 12 municipalities.
During a sometimes halting and rambling speech, Barrick defended his ability to read and understand financial statements — though no one had questioned it at the meeting.
In another statement that started to veer into Sean Spicer territory, he said his numbers weren’t wrong, they were just different.
Barrick also told council that “any mention of any other issue not related to this is a cheap excuse and a deflection about the issue.”
Asked what Barrick was talking about outside council chambers, Augustyn said there are concerns across Niagara about some organizations and public projects.
Barrick is a senior staff member at Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, which stonewalled for months before beginning its audit after being accused of questionable practices and conflicts of interest.
“We took this motion very seriously,” Augustyn said. “People are…
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