Confusing end to controversial term of Niagara Regional Council

It was the last meeting of Niagara Regional Council before the October municipal election, and frankly it came to a confusing end.

Niagara Councillors spent most of last night's meeting behind closed doors.

After voting on a motion to revamp the Niagara Regional Housing model, councillors then went behind closed doors to discuss the employment of CAO Carmen D'Angelo.

Ontario's Ombudsman office has been called in to investigate the hiring and contract extension of Niagara CAO Carmen D'Angelo following a St.Catharines Standard investigative report that alleges Chair Al Caslin's office helped D'Angelo get the $230,000/year job, and Caslin then extended D'Angelo's contract without the knowledge or consent of council.

St.Catharines Regional Councillor Brian Heit stood before council before moving behind closed doors expressing his concern that Caslin and D'Angelo would be in the room.

He says given the fact that council would be discussing legal matters regarding the two, they shouldn't be in the room.

Chair Caslin responded by saying "oh I will be in the meeting".

Councillors then left council chambers, went behind closed doors, and stayed there for almost an hour and a half.

When they returned the motion was displayed on council's screen simply saying "staff proceed as directed in closed session".

Council voted on the motion with all but four in support.

Councillors Brian Heit, Walter Sendzik, Sandra Easton, and Tim Rigby voted against the motion - whatever the content of the motion was.

A confusing end to a controversial term of Niagara Regional Council.

Council will be meeting again November 1st.