City Hall Email Woes


Seems like we’re making some progress. The most recent lack of response from City Hall has been attributed to a problem they weren’t aware of with a new email spam system. You can read the pertinent correspondence for yourself.

To be fair, having accepted the explanation as to the problem, I’ve edited or deleted entirely the content of some of my recent posts, noted those changes, and provided a hyperlink to this post.

What’s most important is that information is now being provided on a number of files (the proposed land-use change for 951 Commissioners Road E., and the city policy re: landscaping along sidewalks/walkways, etc).

From: Baechler, Joni
To: Seaton, Lorne
Cc: Swaenepoel, Denise; Fowler, Greg
Sent: Tue Nov 20 10:55:29 2007
Subject: RE: Request for Remedy

Hi Lorne,

You will note below an email that Mr. Fowler indicates he sent a message on Oct. 29th (I have highlighted the time and my name). When I review my inbox, I have not received this message. The email notes my correct address, but I can’t find it in any of my files – including deleted files thinking it may have been accidentally deleted. I found two recent messages were sent to spam and I have since retrieved them, but the Oct, 29th email is unfound at this moment. Can you assist?


Joni Baechler
Ward 5 Councillor
Corporation of the City of London
300 Dufferin Avenue
London, Ontario
N6B 1Z2

From: Whitelaw, Brian
Sent: Tue 11/20/2007 12:13 PM
To: Baechler, Joni
Cc: Swaenepoel, Denise; Swaenepoel, Denise; Seaton, Lorne
Subject: FW: Request for Remedy

Hi Councillor Baechler,

I am responding to this on behalf of Lorne. Our anti-spam system at the time Mr. Fowler sent his first communication blocked the message as he had multiple recipients, which is normally an indication of spam. We switched to a new anti-spam system on November 7th, but that was too late to do anything about Mr. Fowler’s e-mail.

Since it is more than 15 days since the e-mail was first blocked, it is no longer in the system as it is automatically deleted after 15 days.

Although we are on the new system now, you may want to add Mr. Fowler to your list of approved senders. I have attached a document that will guide you through the processes of our new anti-spam system.

I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused to you and Mr. Fowler.


Brian Whitelaw
Manager, Information Services
Technology Services Division
City of London

From: “Baechler, Joni”
To: “Fowler, Greg”
Cc: “Barrett, Gregg”; “Fleming, John M.”; “Panzer, Rob”; “DeCicco-Best, Anne Marie”; “Caranci, Roger”; “Bryant, Judy”; “Barber, Gina”; “Branscombe, Nancy”; “Hume, Gord”; “Bain, Kevin”; “Johnson, Tom”
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 1:18:59 PM
Subject: FW: Request for Remedy

Hi Greg,

You will note from the following email that your correspondence to me was blocked by our system. I have also spoken with the city clerk Kevin Bain who did not receive the email for the same reason. I ask that the information you posted on the web site be corrected to note this new information.

Technology services recently installed a new spam system that notifies the recipient if a message has been blocked. As indicated in a previous email, I was able to retrieve 2 of your recent messages from this system. The Oct. 29th message I was completely unaware and as a result unable to respond. Please do not hesitate to follow up with a phone call if you do not receive a response as technology does cause problems on occasion.

I understand you are meeting with your ward councillor this week and ask that he advise us if there are any action items derived from that meeting.


From: Gregory Fowler
Sent: Tue 11/20/2007 3:44 PM
To: Baechler, Joni
Cc: Barrett, Gregg; Fleming, John M.; Panzer, Rob; DeCicco-Best, Anne Marie; Caranci, Roger; Bryant, Judy; Barber, Gina; Branscombe, Nancy; Hume, Gord; Bain, Kevin; Johnson, Tom
Subject: Re: Request for Remedy


I appreciate the extra work that identification of your spam system problem had to have imposed on you, and the fact that you successfully figured it out. In the past I’ve been quite impressed by your diligence. Based on a lot of past experience, I’m not about to declare that there aren’t non-tech communication problems at City Hall. However, I am perfectly willing to accept that your failure to respond to my Oct. 29 communication was in no way your fault.

Similarly, I will accept your explanation that Mr. Bain’s failure to respond to my Nov. 2 communication was not his fault, for the same reason.

Although you did not address the lack of response from Mr. Parker to my Oct. 31 ‘Drive-Thru Review’ communication (which was received by him), or from Mr. Panzer to my Oct. 23 request, I am content that information is now being provided and that my concerns are beginning to be addressed.

I am mindfull of the fact that your spam problem may have been identified earlier if I had followed up my email communication with some telephone calls. I am aware that you are seriously considering a call system which promises to greatly improve that method of inquiry, which I abandoned a long time ago out of frustration. Email affords me the ability to verify my efforts at least. Still, I hope that you can persue improvement to your telephone system without breaking the bank.

I will quite willingly post these new communications to my web site, in order to correct the record. I likely won’t be able to do that until tomorrow because of the two meetings that I have to attend, but I will advise you when it’s been done so that you can comment on the suitability of my efforts.

With respect to my submission to CSCP, I ask that you preserve Mr. Fleming’s Nov. 18 communication to me, and the Nov. 19 communications, but that the other communications be removed. And I have asked Mr. Bain that my communication to Planning Committee not be included in the agenda.

I wonder if Mr. Whitelaw would expand upon the problem of multiple recipients, if that is still a problem. Specifically, whether it only applies to the “To” field, or to the “CC” and “BCC” fields as well?

Thanks in advance for any further clarification,


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