Allegations of e-mail screening again debated at council

 

 

Town hallBy Ron Giofu

 

Allegations of e-mail screening by CAO Mike Phipps regarding messages sent to council members was once again a topic raised at council.

Councillor Diane Pouget called for Phipps to apologize to her after Phipps made a comment Dec. 2 regarding a statement made by Pouget in an e-mail about Phipps monitoring town accounts. Phipps said that statement was “an outright lie.”

Pouget maintained she has e-mails that show “beyond shadow of a doubt” that council members’ e-mails are being read by the CAO and said some e-mails from a private citizen intended for her never arrived in her e-mail.

“I was cautioned by several people not to take the bait and keep it at a high level,” said Phipps.

Phipps stated in response to Pouget’s remarks that he gets copies of what is sent through the town’s website and flatly denied reading e-mails sent to individual council members. He said if council wants him to stop reading comments on the town website, he will if directed to do so.

“It’s as simple as that,” he said.

Phipps has stated he wants quicker responses to residents if their concerns fall as more of an administrative concern and he reviews posts sent through the town website as authorized by an IT policy passed in September.

Phipps responded to Pouget’s comments that the e-mails weren’t received by stating he checked with the town’s IT department which said they were received.

A notice of motion that Pouget was going to introduce as a regular motion to direct administration to “cease intercepting, reading, responding or sharing any e-mails sent to the direction of any member of this council unless directed to do so by the intended recipient of said e-mails” was deferred by Pouget to the next council meeting.

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