A local group suggests that the Kawartha Lakes Police Department cancel the Kawartha ATV Association’s (KATVA) ATV donation citing a conflict of interest and the danger that this will lead to a “lack of confidence” in the area. ‘law application.
Dr Peter Petrosoniak, speaking on behalf of the Lindsay ATV petition team at Thursday’s board meeting (December 16), expressed concern that by accepting the donation of two vehicles as well as training, “it just doesn’t smell good”. He added that the donation does nothing to address public concerns about security and enforcement and instead increases spending on policing, undermines public confidence, and creates a perceived conflict in the ability of the police to apply or objectively report the use of ATVs on Lindsay. roads.
Dr Petrosoniak noted that when the issue was discussed at the police department’s board meeting in May, board members postponed the decision saying the timing was not ‘right’ .
âIt was not appropriate then and it is not appropriate now,â said Dr Petrosoniak who questioned KATVA’s intentions in making the donation in the first place; perhaps to win the favor of the council. “Perception is reality.”
Kawartha Lakes board member and mayor Andy Letham said the reason for the postponement was that council had not yet made a decision on opening the roads to ATV traffic. He added that the council’s consideration of the idea and use of the trail was solely based on an opportunity made possible by the province.
Dr Petrosoniak also questioned the ethics behind the donation, saying he “smacks of influence peddling” and insinuating that KATVA is trying to “whitewash their image”. He also asked how the group acquired the vehicles, saying members’ income would not be enough to cover the estimated cost of $ 25,000, suggesting “bribe” deals with local businesses.
Carolyn Graham Richards, president of KATVA, was disappointed to hear such public comments, including unfounded accusations regarding the club‘s income. She noted that the club does not receive any government funding or financial support from corporate sponsors. She wonders why this, and not other donations made in the past – like the ATV donated to the bylaw and the side-by-side to the Burnt River Fire Department – is being questioned.
âThese were very public and no one expressed concerns about them,â Graham Richards said.
Board Chairman Don Thomas said the police department has received support from various vehicle and boat dealerships, and even local veterinary services, over the years.
“There isn’t much we can do about what people think, but I object to the idea that it influences law enforcement,” Thomas continued, calling Petrosoniak’s comment “ridiculous.”