Wednesday April 23, 2014

question of the week

Survey results are meant for general information only, and are not based on recognised statistical methods.

In search of truth



I feel I have to respond to a letter from Laura Davis (Coast Reporter, Dec. 7) as a rebuttal on several issues.

Firstly, I am not retired and, in fact, have two other jobs.

Secondly, your letter implies the standard of conduct by the five novice councillors is above reproach. In my opinion, it is not, for the following reasons: upon becoming elected in November 2011 all members of council attended a newly elected officials seminar in Richmond sponsored by Union of B.C. Municipalities plus two other seminars held in Gibsons with the last in Sechelt conducted by George Cuff, an eminent authority on local governance protocol.

These seminars, based upon the B.C. Community Charter, dealt with standard of conduct by elected officials, conflict of interest, legislated topics for in-camera meetings plus roles and responsibilities of mayor and council.

From my perspective and experience, there have been incidents where this council has not been in compliance with that legislation in those areas.

Thirdly brings me to the censure and sanctions applied to Coun. Alice Lutes based upon the reported case of Skakun vs Prince George. Coun. Skakun had released a confidential in-camera report to the CBC.

While various judicial authorities found Skakun guilty under section 117 of the Community Charter and he was fined, each judicial authority, including Sechelt’s legal counsel, cautioned about censure and in particular applying sanctions.

At this point you may well ask what was the outcome of the Skakun Case.

On Oct. 21, 2011 Prince George council agreed it was time to put this issue behind them. They did not censure and apply sanctions to Coun. Skakun who was subsequently re-elected in the November 2011 election.

End of story.

Coun. Mike Shanks, Sechelt



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