Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Nanaimo City Council - Colliery Dams Resolutions

Take your pick to describe this current city council

Anyone who has not completely tuned out the latest episode in the 'Colliery Dam Saga' must be shaking their heads in wonderment at the recent machinations of this city council. They pass motions and allow city staff to ignore, they entertain motions that are out of order, they defeat motions and allow staff to circumvent the defeated motion, they allow staff to enter into debate during an open council meeting. Is this the council we thought we elected last November?

Read the following two motions, which are resolutions of the City Council and ask yourself, 'where in these motions are city staff instructed to ask the Province if the motions are OK?'. They don't, but this city council is letting staff do as they think best, even if that is contrary to the resolution of Council. I can't be the only person in Nanaimo who takes issue with that. Last November we did NOT elect the city manager or any of the city staff, we elected a council to direct the affairs of our city at city hall.

If this is how this council is going to run the city, it adds strength to my opinion that we need to simply elect our city manager, finance manager and a few more, and make them accountable every 4 years, and forget about electing a council, as clearly, who is calling the shots is wide open for debate.

Motion put forward by Councillor Yoachim Feb. 2/15 passed by council 7:1. Councillor Brennan opposed. This motion says:

It was moved and seconded that Council receive the Colliery Dams Update report and direct Staff to:
(a) not proceed with any design work or expenditure for the alternate drainage course/swale for the Lower Colliery Dam;
(b) consult with and engage other primary stakeholders including Snuneymuxw First Nation, the Colliery Dam Park Preservation Society, and the general public in order to revise as deemed necessary the Dam Safety Management Program (latest version February 2013) which revision will reflect the recent change in classification and in addition to revise the emergency plan and measures, including signage and monitoring measures;
(c) report on the revisions determined from the above and to seek Council’s further direction at that time;
(d) consult and engage the primary stakeholders named above in any and all future process and planning, including any proposed remedial measures regarding the Colliery Dams Park; and,

(e) amend the Schedule for Remediation to reflect the current lowered classification to permit more time to investigate and prepare a revised plan for any required remediation when determined and to inform the Dam Safety Section of the above direction by Council.

These following motions have been completely ignored by city staff. Had they acted upon the Feb. 2 motion and engaged 'everyone' named in the motion, we may have a workable, viable solution by now.

Motion put forward by Councillor Fuller March 10/15 passed by council 5:3. This motion says:

That staff work with the Colliery Dams Technical Committee:

1. to develop and implement a revised and comprehensive Colliery Dams Emergency Preparedness Plan that describes the actions to be taken in the event of an emergency at the Colliery Dams, and to submit the plan for acceptance by the Dam Safety Officer by March 27, 2015:

2. to develop and implement a Colliery Dams Surveillance Plan by a date to be determined in cooperation with the Dam Safety Branch that allows the City to track potential flood events and measure water flow and volume in the Colliery Dams;

3. to develop and implement a Colliery Dams Flood Routing Capacity Action Plan, including the stockpiling of necessary materials to be utilized in accordance with the Action Plan, by a date to be determined in cooperation with the Dam Safety Branch to prevent risk of overtopping of the Colliery Dams in the event of a significant flood: and,

4. to confirm with the BC Dams Safety Branch Comptroller of Water Rights that the combination of revised and comprehensive plans listed below provides an acceptable approach to issues identified in his letter of February 25, 2015:

a. Colliery Dams Emergency Preparedness Plan;
b. Colliery Dams Surveillance Plan; and,
c. Colliery Dams Flood Routing Capacity Action Plan.

5. Correspondence with the BC Dams Safety Branch Comptroller of Water Rights is forwarded to Mayor & Council prior to being sent.


1 comment:

  1. BANG-ON write-up!

    You are correct in saying - everyone in Nanaimo who is subjectively watching council is wondering what the heck is going on and who is actually running the city and the Monday night debacle.



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