A positive start to 2013

Staff writer
January 11, 2013 01:00 AM


Mayor Henderson's New Year's message (Coast Reporter, Jan. 4) recognizes the past year was a rocky one for Sechelt council and asks that we "leave the negative energy back in 2012" and go forward on a positive note in 2013.

Nice sentiments, but there remain unanswered questions from 2012.

As we busied ourselves for Christmas, why did the majority of council, on Dec. 17, misuse the in-camera confidentiality provisions of the Community Charter to shield the rationale for, the discussion of and the appointments to the newly created financial advisory committee (FAC) from the public scrutiny of an open council meeting as required by law? How does the timing of the FAC's creation relate to the almost $1 million of unbudgeted spending? With councillors legally responsible for managing of District finances what is the role of an appointed FAC?

We don't yet know the mandate of the FAC, which is comprised of four hand-picked members: Mayor Henderson and three volunteers, Richard Wilson, Debbie Mealia and Bruce Morris, all of whom have financial experience, but were also active in the electoral campaigns of the current councillor majority.

The in-camera session was justified referencing section 90(1)(k) of the Community Charter supposedly because the subject matter involved the potential provision of "a municipal service." It is a stretch to conceive the creation and appointment of a hand-picked, voluntary advisory body constitutes a municipal service, yet the use, or rather the abuse of section 90, was employed to deny the public's right to know the rationale behind the FAC and the choice of committee persons. Why? This demonstrates a lack of respect for the democratic principles and practices of the Charter.

Answers to the above and a commitment to limit in-camera sessions to those allowed by law would be a positive start to 2013!

Jef Keighley, Halfmoon Bay

© Copyright 2015 Coast Reporter


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Coast Reporter welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus
Coast Reporter

Email to a Friend



Would you make a donation to help purchase Gospel Rock if a possible sale was negotiated with the current owner?

or  view results

click here to read the story

Popular Coast Reporter

Community Event Calendar

Find out what's happening in your community and submit your own local events.