Sunday, July 14, 2013

Nanaimo City Hall - A Series #2

What's The Story Behind Missing/Leaving Staff?

It was mid-March I believe when we last saw the newly hired head of Legislative Services, fulfilling the duties of the Officer of the Corporation mandated by the Community Charter. This is not a discretionary position but is mandated.

There has never been any clear explanation as to why this employee went on 'administrative leave' but there is lots of speculation swirling around the rumor mill as to why they were removed from the scene so soon after assuming office.

The importance of this office is not to be taken likely, as ultimately they are responsible for seeing that city of Nanaimo business is being conducted in a proper and law abiding fashion. As a lawyer, Officer would likely have superior knowledge  as to legal procedure when compared with senior city hall staff such as Mr. Holmes or Mr. Kenning.

In-Camera Meetings - A Contentious Nanaimo Issue

This current administration under Mayor Ruttan and Mr. Kenning has come under criticism on many occasions for questionable misuse of the in-camera process. Whether all meetings this administration have conducted in-camera still need, or ever needed to be in secret is something this scribe has found troubling for quite sometime. For example, we still don't know which councillors voted to spend $16,000,000 on that shiny new office for staff.

We still don't know what kind of information city staff provided council with, when they voted to remove Colliery Dams. We do know they were told the price to replace could be a staggering $30,000,000 and the dams had a 40% chance of failure.

Many months ago Councillor Bestwick asked for a report from staff which would show which in-camera meetings going back to 2010 could be brought out of in-camera. This is a job that the head of Legislative Services would have been tasked with and I would imagine that before March of this year, they would have completed that task, given the priority it should have been given.

Since we still have not seen the report which was requested over six months ago and the person tasked with preparing it has been missing for nearly four months without explanation, one has to wonder if there is a connection.

Speaking purely speculatively if the in-camera report prepared would indicate some in-camera meetings be made public, and for reasons unknown, city management did not agree could that have accounted for the sudden disappearance?


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