Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Councillor Fuller Discloses Brennan, McKay Opposition To Samra Hiring

Councillor Fuller calls for Mayor McKay's resignation
The following is posted on Councillor Fuller's Facebook page "Municipally (A)MUSING and reveals some of the questionable conduct of Councillor Brennan and Mayor McKay with regards the hiring of Ms Tracy Samra.

 Gord Fuller
On Sunday the 6th of March I attended an event for International Womens Day where the moderator talked about our responsibility to take even “small action to help shift what is happening in the world” and to be a “voice for change.” By doing this I hope to accomplish but a small part of that.

To that end I have something to say that may piss off or disappoint some, not unusual on my part, but it is the stuff that causes me consternation and many sleepless hours and by doing so will hopefully relieve some stress.

This is all with regards to the hiring of our new City Manager (CAO) Tracy Samra and abuse faced regarding the process. I don’t believe in posting this that I am breaching anything with regards to confidentiality but in the event I do so I apologise from the start.

What I will not apologise for however, and will not take part in is sweeping abuse/bullying under the rug for the sake of ‘getting along;’ one must speak.

I think folk know what I think of our hiring of Tracy Samra as City Manager but if not I will say it again. We had a number of very good candidates apply for this position but in my opinion, and apparently that of the majority of council, Tracy was by far the best candidate to fulfill the position and in part showed that by her actions as the interim manager.

Tracy’s hiring as the first Female and First Nations CAO of Nanaimo is momentous because of who she is and her background as well as the fact she is the first CAO in decades that has actually been hired and not appointed upwards. This is step one in attaining a fundamental shift in the way things have been done for years in this City and while some fear it I believe we should rejoice. Change is hard but inevitable and this change is, again in my opinion, one of the best things to happen in our City for decades.

What people are unaware of is the crap that Tracy has had to put up with, on the part of Councillor Brennan and Mayor McKay, since her hiring as Interim Manager. Crap that has caused me and others stress and for me many sleepless nights.

All started in November with the release of In Camera information that both Councillors’ Brennan and Thorpe admitted to but that Councillor Brennan then decided was not and sought legal advice for. As a result we received two letters from lawyers she hired; one with regards to removing censure and the other towards firing Ms. Samra.

Re the first councillor Brennan was never censured so no need to remove squat. Re the second it asked for Tracy to be removed by the Mayor due to the hiring process being inadequate, we had three legal opinions saying it was fine, under threat of Judicial Review if she were not. Asked numerous times to withdraw the legal opinion she has refused.

Since her interim hiring the Mayor’s behaviour, again in my opinion, has been, at numerous In Camera meetings, downright abusive/bullying towards Tracy. The Mayors behaviour at City Hall towards Ms. Samra has also been less than professional and it has been brought to our attention that he has been publicly talking with so called persons of influence about the need to get rid of her and some on council.

I don’t usually get mad but the behaviour of the mayor has resulted in me losing my cool and asking him to resign at a number of our In Camera meetings. I literally cannot believe his actions to date. One thing that this has done is it has brought seven together whom will strongly support our new Manager and work with each other in a more respectful way towards improving our community.

Were not Tracy the person of strength that she is she could easily have quit and had justification to go after the city for what once again in my opinion would have been a substantial settlement. That there are a strong seven, in part due to the behaviour of two, on council that have supported and encouraged her through this process has no doubt helped provide her with the support needed to struggle through the adversity faced.

WE, the CITY of NANAIMO, are extremely lucky to have Tracy as our City Manager CAO. A fitting tribute on this INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!



  1. With the mayor causing damage to the City reputation and working against everyone trying to bring tourists with his unbelievable fear mongering comments on gangs,now this comes out!

    The mayor has to step aside.

  2. Thank you for the awareness you bring to the public. Your blog is an awesome source of information on local affairs.

  3. If the Mayor is going to continue as he has, and publicly undermine Council at every opportunity, while simultaneously bullying people behind the scenes, he must go. We don't need him anyway, as he has helped us see by shirking his duty as Mayor 5 out of the last 6 Meetings.

  4. I have long suspected that there is a hidden agenda, controlling what has been happening at the Colliery Dam Park, and I believe that the conduct of the Mayor and Ms. Brennon, towards Ms Samra, confirms my suspicions.

    From the beginning of this fiasco, Ms. Brennon has been a strong proponent of its destruction, and one of the biggest obstacles to it's remediation, and she has never waivered, regardless of the arguments proving her wrong.

    Additionally, I found it hard to justify her continual willingness to abrogate her responsibility to the city staff, who guided her on her votes, without question, on what were important issues for so many people.

    I could easily describe other circumstances that have raised my suspicions, but I think that my point is made.

    Get rid of them both. If they will not resign, turn their seats into empty chairs, don't give them a voice, an opinion, or a vote that counts.

    The truth is going to come out sooner or later. In the mean time, we can all continue on, happily and content in knowing that we are in the capable hands of a our new CAO, Tracy Samra.

  5. I have been through several operations in the past few years, and each time, the doctors had to cut through a lot of BS, to get to the problem and fix it.

    I believe that there is still some cutting to be done at City Hall.

  6. This is very disturbing news but it's the kind the public needs to have. Thanks to this blog for upping its game on city hall news.

    I hope Councillor Fuller does not suffer from producing these stark revelations and allegations, but I expect the worst.

    The mayor's absenteeism, noted by one respondent here, should be the focus of concern. At some point there must be sanctions for such behaviour if it is unrelated to health issues or family concerns -- either the Community Charter or the Local Government Act likely address the issue of chronic absenteeism. Worth checking.

  7. Dorothy Houghton9 March 2016 at 22:16

    Years ago I read a bumper sticker that said “If I don’t stand for something, I’ll fall for anything”. I applaud Councillor Fuller for his courage to say what, in my opinion, needed to be said even though some may feel it probably isn’t the politically correct thing to do. I watch the council meetings on a regular basis on line (I work afternoon shift so am unable to attend in person). At the Dec 7th, 2015 meeting Mayor Mckay announced that Councillors Brennan & Thorpe would be making a statement with regards to an investigation into allegations that confidential information was disclosed from an in-camera meeting. Councillor Thorpe made an apology for his conduct and I believe he was/is sorry and that he made a mistake. Given that this is his first time as a councillor one can surely forgive him. I respect him for his courage to make a public apology. Councillor Brennan on the other hand announced that she would be seeking further legal advice. Councillor Brennan has been around for a long while now and certainly should have known better just like she should have known better not to be tweeting & posting on facebook on election day encouraging voters to vote for her when the rules state otherwise. Since that meeting in Dec, I certainly started to notice a shift in the dynamics of council. I do believe there are now 7 strong members of council who are willing to work together for the benefit of all of Nanaimo. I have also taken notice of Tracy Samra since she started as interim City Manager and I am extremely impressed with her professionalism and I believe with her level of expertise in so many areas, she will serve us well. I feel we are in very good hands folks! It was very apparent to me as I read the comments in the Bulletin from the Mayor regarding the hiring of Ms. Samra, that he didn’t appear to be a fan. From the bulletin March 8th -“Mayor Bill McKay said it’s nice to get somebody installed in the position “finally, permanently.” “There’s absolutely no training to do,” he said. “She’s had her three months.” Please try and contain your enthusiasm Mayor McKay! Sheesh! Oh and by the way I want my vote back Mr. Mayor (oh if only it worked that way). I’m sure many others who thought they were voting for one person and ended up with someone completely different may feel the same way.

  8. http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/LOC/complete/statreg/--%20C%20--/42_Community%20Charter%20[SBC%202003]%20c.%2026/00_Act/03026_04.xml#section108



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