Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Nanaimo City Manager Clears The Air

Tracy Samra CEO City of Nanaimo Photo screengrab city website

City Manager Explains Opposition To Hiring
City Mayor describes statement as 'bizarre'

The opposition to the hiring of Ms Tracy Samra firstly as the Interim CAO and then as the permanent CAO by both Mayor McKay and Councillor Brennan was finally brought into the public arena at last night's council meeting.

While this Council has been accused by many as being dysfunctional and a number of vocal social media types have tried to paint the Mayor as being the victim of 'rogue' councillors, last night's statement puts an end to months of speculation.

Clearly the Mayor and Councillor Brennan would appear to be the dysfunctional members of this current council and are clearly in a minority of 'two' on a Council of nine.

Followers of this blog will remember a Facebook post by Mr. Don Bonner that appeared on this blog last year revealing what could only have been in-camera information about Ms. Samra's hiring.The source of that leaked information was never revealed but any council-watcher did not have a hard time believing it was Councillor Brennan who was the source of that confidential information. A leak, by the way that should have seen some form of sanction brought against the veteran Councillor.

According to Ms Samra's statement Brennan went as far as to engage a lawyer who wrote an official demand of the Mayor to fire Ms Samra. After legal consultation, the Mayor advised Brennan there were no grounds upon which to fire Samra.

Apparently the Mayor then went so far as to seek more legal advise and attempted to engage Minister Fassbender in the process, to no avail. Complaints made by the Mayor to Work Safe BC attempting to claim Samra was not providing a safe workplace, also came to no avail.

While Samra did not make mention of this, it is worth noting that during this whole debacle, seven city councillors all signed a letter asking the Mayor to resign. Their request of course was met with opposition from the Mayor who steadfastly clings to the helm of a ship he no longer steers.

There has been an attempt by both McKay and Brennan to remove Samra from her position, for reasons brighter minds than mine can only speculate upon.

Whether this will bring some resolve to the turmoil we have witnessed at city hall these past months remains to be seen. What is clear however, is that months of speculation have been put to rest and harmony on this city council with the Mayor is in the Mayor's court. 

Given McKay's response to Samra's statement it would seem doubtful there will be any meaningful changes before the next election. You can view Samra's statement by listening to the video recording of the meeting HERE.



  1. This CAO will not be manipulated, intimidated, or ignored into carryout business according to such measures as standing down by-laws at the request of the mayor, agreeing to shorten time lines for developers who have not provided council with new information that should have been provided and is needed to make an informed decision. This CAO won't tolerate bullying or threats. Good on her. The mayor's response was very unprofessional and it is clear that he has no intention of mending fences. Ms. Brennan has hitched her wagon to the wrong horse this time.

    1. It definitely looked like attempts of political interference by the mayor, Brennan and Pratt (Thorpe I don't think knew the rules) trying to circumvent established legislation that requires six months to pass before council can look at RE-WORKED development plans - and then after city staff has looked at the new info and makes their recommendations to council.

      If you give someone a break (like Pratt said was done for someone else - letting them come back in 3 months) then you have to do these new votes for all - and then you don't need the rules.


  2. Accurate summation.. The ball is in the Mayor's court,but he keeps fumbling it..

  3. The abuse & harassment by Brennan & McKay is deplorable! Brennan & McKay garnered the two lowest vote numbers (McKay even got fewer votes than Brennan) in the last election.

    The joint harassment by these two has put exposed the city to a huge financial liabily, they are an embarrassment to publicly elected officials.

    Both McKay and Brennan are being shunned and avoided, but do they even realize it? Organizations in town don't want to be painted with the the tarnished brush.

    1. BOTH McKay and Brennan are the duo who have put "dysfunctional" into their names - as today's Times-Colonist headline confirms.

  4. Councillor Brennan should not be subjected to a City Employee speaking to her in such a manner and should be reprimanded for disrespect of Council. The Mayor should be looking after the interests of his Council over a City employee. I was affronted witnessing the CAO speak to a Councillor in the Council meeting in such disrespect that the other Councillors did nothing to interject the Tirade on a councillor. All, including the CAO should be embarrassed for displaying such disregard for City governance.


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