Trent Ernst, Editor
Special Meeting of Council October 28, 2015
Present: Mayor McPherson, Councillors Mackay, Scott, Krakowka, Howe, Kirby Caisley
REMEMBRANCE DAY CEREMONY – LEGION BRANCH 286
Council declared November 1 – 11, 2015 as Veteran’s Week and approves Community Centre Staff to transport tables and chairs to and from TRSS for Remembrance Day Service and street closure from the Legion to the Tumbler Ridge Secondary School for the Remembrance Day Service and parade and further that Iles Way be closed for the return route to the Veteran’s Memorial Park. Meeting then went into closed session.
Special Meeting of Council, October 30, 2015
Present: Mayor McPherson, Councillors Mackay, Scott, Krakowka, Kirby Caisley
TR RECREATION HOCKEY – MOVEMBER CLASSIC HOCKEY TOURNAMENT & FEE WAIVER REQUEST
Council approved the cancellation of the Public Skate on Friday, November 13th and Saturday, November 14th, 2015 to accommodate the Movember Classic Hockey Tournament, and approved the exclusive use of the Community Centre Skaters Lounge on November 13 – 15, 2015 to host the TR Recreation Hockey Association’s Movember Classic Hockey Tournament and Beer Garden. They also approved the use of a portable bar and bus tubs in the amount of $120.00.
ROCKY HORROR NIGHT / COSTUME PARTY & FEE WAIVER REQUEST
Council approves the Grizzly Valley Players fee waiver request in the amount of $399.46 to host the annual Rocky Horror Night & Costume Party fundraiser.
Regular Meeting of Council Meeting November 4, 2015
Present: Mayor McPherson, Councillors Caisley, Kirby, Krakowka, Scott and Mackay.
CLEAN ENERGY ASSOCIATION OF BC
Clean Energy BC sent a note advising that Tumbler Ridge will receive a 2015 Community of the Year Award on Tuesday, November 2, 2015.
We just came back from the clean energy association meeting. We won community of the year award, says Mayor McPherson. “I think this is a pretty awesome thing for a coal town.”
TUMBLER RIDGE GRADUATING COMMITTEE OF 2016
The TR Graduating Committee of 2016 is asking Council for a donation for the Toy Bingo fundraiser and/or the Dry Grad event. Councillor Krakowka asks about waiving the fees for the room. That’s been our gift to them over the last few years, says Interim CAO Aleen Torraville.
MIABC DIVIDEND CHEQUE
The Municipal Insurance Association of British Columbia has issued a dividend cheque to the District in the amount of $2,249.00.
TRAFFIC AND HIGHWAYS REGULATION BYLAW
Council gave final reading to the District of Tumbler Ridge Traffic and Highways Regulation Bylaw.
MUNICIPAL TICKET INFORMATION (MTI) AMENDMENT
Council gave final reading to the District of Tumbler Ridge Municipal Ticket (MTI) Information Bylaw.
ANIMAL CONTROL CONTRACT – AWARD
The District entered into an agreement with Golholf Scouting and Surveying to provide animal control services as per the terms of the Animal Control Officer Service Contract for an amount of $22,500 per year. Councillor Krakowka asks if enforcement is done by bylaw officer or animal control. Torraville says if Council decides not to go ahead with this, then bylaw would do it. This, however, would probably cause a great deal of overtime for the bylaw officer.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER – APPOINTMENT
Council appointed Garrett Golhof as the Animal Control Officer for the District of Tumbler Ridge.
TUMBLER RIDGE DAYS SOCIETY – GRIZFEST 2015 REPORT
Grizfest 2015 report from the Tumbler Ridge Days Society covering the timeframe from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015, including financial information for this period. Grizfest 2015 was reviewed and TR Days Society thanked Council for their support.
Councillor Mackay just got back from the Clean Energy Conference in Vancouver. One of the best conference he’s ever been to. There is, he says, at least 5 billion dollars worth of projects waiting to come to Tumbler Ridge if the province would just allow it. He moves that Council support a motion that Council back a proposal to use the proposed Thunder Mountain and Redwillow Projects to power the Blue Fuel plant in Chetwynd.
Jordan Wall says the Blue Fuel project would produce gasoline. They want to power the project with Wind Energy, and they have partnered with the two projects. They approached the province and the province said no. The government, says Wall, is sitting on the fence with the new proposal to draw from two proposals. It would also allow Enercon to move ahead with the concrete tower plant. If Council would support this, then Mayor McPherson would be able to take it to the PRRD meeting next week and ask them to support the motion as well.
He met with Michael DeSpot who showed them a solar project in Kimberley. After five years, the project is starting to bring income into town. He says there are some places in Tumbler Ridge that would be perfect for this sort of project, too.
Met with Vincent Li from Dehua. Talked with them around their Wapiti mine. They are still in process, he says,
Met with Enercon, who are looking at producing concrete towers here in Tumbler Ridge. Need to start showing them properties, where to find resources, etc. Met with folks from Pattern, who are experiencing some delays because of the weather.
Met with Jurgen Putter from Blue Fuels. Met with folks from HD Mining. Met with Federico Valasquez from Peace River Coal. Talked to Chief Wilson and Councillor Dokkie from West Moberley, and had an informal chat with them.
Councillor Scott says the NCLGA planning meeting was postponed. Family Needs meeting will be held on November 9. Halloween Haunted House was awesome. Attended Community Bonfire.
Councillor Krakowka also attended the Halloween events. Says the new lights are looking awesome. Attended Success by 6 meeting today. Planning on doing the Christmas Lights Tour again.
Councillor Caisley says he attended meeting with Miss Torraville and Paul McCivit around administration policy. had discussions with Fred Banham and Associates.
Councillor Kirby attended PAC meeting. Attended Find Your Fit event put on by Work BC. Was a scare-er at the Blunden Halloween Haunt. Proud of Tumbler Ridge for winning award.
Mayor McPherson was also at Clean Energy Conference. Before he opens up the question and answer period, he reads a letter from the District’s lawyer.
He says decisions by Council to dismiss a senior employee are not easy decisions. “This was no less the case with Mr. Elliott. Council appreciates that there may be a number of people in the community who disagree with its decision. Council knew, going into the meeting to decide on Mr. Elliott’s employment, that that would likely be the case.”
He says it is important for those who may disagree with this decision that Council to understand that having made this decision Council is not about to revisit or reverse its decision.
“Council has decided to part company with Mr. Elliott and is now looking ahead and to the need to engage a new CAO who will assist Council in meeting the challenges that lie ahead for this community.”
He says the legislation that governs Council’s procedures – the Community Charter – provides for open government and open meetings of Council, with a number of specific exceptions.
“The purpose of those exceptions is to recognize that it is sometimes necessary for the good administration of a municipality, and to allow for a full and frank dialogue between council members, that the subject be addressed in a session that is closed to the public.”
Employee relations is one of these specific subjects says the mayor.
He says the Provincial Legislature, which sets the rules for municipal councils, decided the subject of employee relations is particularly sensitive and best dealt with in a closed session. “Frankly, that allows Council to focus on the task at hand without any concern that their colleague’s statements will be shaped by a desire to say what might be popular, as opposed to what is necessary or truly in the community’s best interests.”
The Community Charter also requires council members to keep in confidence what is considered in a closed council meeting, unless the information is presented in an open meeting, he says. This means that Council is not planning to say anything more about the events that led up to its decision regarding Mr. Elliott’s employment. “It would be counter-productive for Council to go back over and review in a public session what was said and heard in the closed session that it held with Mr. Elliott.
“Council has been careful not to make any comments that might be interpreted as being adverse to Mr. Elliott that might have an impact on his future or future employment prospects and Council will continue to refrain from doing so,” he says. “Already it has been suggested that statements have been made that are defamatory of Mr. Elliott. We do not believe that is the case, but have no wish to expose the District to any potential liability given these suggestions. That is all I propose to say about the subject and I wish to make it clear Council will not entertain questions from the public relating to Mr. Elliott’s employment.