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Longstanding local business owner denied request to appear as delegation at Sooke council meeting — 21 Comments

  1. Doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. Council meetings almost always go insanely long. I think the last one I went too was almost 2 hours late. The need to know the specific questions ahead of time so that the appropriate answers can be given can help cut down that time. Also, in case no one noticed, there’s hundreds of pages of reports generated every month. If you’re going to ask something specific about something that happened a while ago someone needs lead time to look it up.

    As for the actual presentation, there’s nothing in the article that details it. Who knows, maybe it was outside their jurisdiction. Can’t tell without knowing what the individual wanted to present, what the district wanted to clarification on, and what the follow up was. I know the article said it was done by phone but without documentation it’s hard to join in the cries of foul play.

    Terrible that she’ll miss the deadline but hopefully there’s lots of time for next month if the individual is passionate about their presentation.

  2. When is Maja coming back is the big question and it seems that as one goes through all the past changes and staffing issues the need for her to return has never been greater….When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

  3. The past council funded the illegal coup that occurred at the Sooke Chamber of Commerce. This coup went unnoticed by most Sooke residents. You get what you vote for. This behavior should have been put in check in the last election.

  4. I have to agree with Jason. The article is short on details. What was the delegation for and does it fit into councils mandate? There is also committee of the whole meetings and usually some Q&A at council meetings for public participation. Perhaps if she feels the need to speak and on a timeline, these could be opportunities to do so? There seems to be a segment of the electorate that are determined to look at a conspiracy theory in our local governance at this time, and a lot of it seems to be based on the fact the elected mayor is on maternity leave. I think this is misguided, as the mayor is only a figured head, and is really no more powerful than any other member of council (except for the provision of setting agendas for meetings). So, unless the votes that have been happening have been a tie or lost or won by 1 vote, then the outcomes would still be the same, even if Mayor Tait was there. I also think it is unfair to assume Mayor Tait is unaware of the goings on, as she is a very intelligent lady, and although on leave, is not dead to the world.

    • Actually, the Mayor is the CEO and supposed to be the interface between staff and council. I don’t know how the new CAO found time to interview nearly 200 movers and shakers in the district since she was hired mid-Dec. and still able to properly assess by early January that a colleague from her past who is also an associate would be so much better a fit for the district as the CO than the person who did the job for the last 16 years. Looking at his LinkedIn profile, it seems the new CO hasn’t held any job for more than 2 years since September 2010 and the recommendation at that site is probably from Ms. Sullivan. So how are the rest of us supposed to know he is anything more than a nice guy with a great turn of phrase?

      • I venture that his employment history of “short stints” indicate more of a cleaning-house henchman role.

  5. If Diane Bernard, who is a person who has well represented Sooke in the past, has difficulty in making a presentation what chance do the rest of us have. It is up to the Town Council and our administrators to help us and not use procedures to block people from talking to the council. I think it was Diane Bernard who helped to make our committees more transparent. She was more interested in hearing from all people in Sooke then she was in blocking their access to people who were making decisions about our town. I hope that our current Council in their drive for efficiency don’t forget that they are here to help people bring their concerns. If they are finding that their meetings are too long because they have too many people who wish to speak, then they should be glad because it means that people care enough to express their concerns. Perhaps a second meeting till they clear up the backlog. After all, without us there would be no Sooke.

  6. What a bunch of crap. Local government is supposed to be for the citizens. To suggest if someone is not specific it won’t allow you to answer questions is ridiculous. If you don’t have the answer council can defer at the time and get back to the speaker when they have the information. As a former mayor and a strong advocate of open accessible local government this makes me question do I want to remain in a community that has a council with this mentality. Let’s get real council…..

    • From our Council Procedures Bylaw… Delegations
      23. (1) The Council may, by resolution,
      allow a delegation to address Council
      at the meeting provided written
      application on a prescribed form has
      been received by the Corporate Officer by noon on the Wednesday
      prior to the meeting. Each address
      must be limited to five (5) minutes
      unless a longer period is agreed to
      by unanimous vote of those
      members present.
      (2) Council must not permit a delegat
      ion to address a meeting of the
      Council regarding a bylaw in respect
      of which a public hearing has been
      held, where the public hearing is r
      equired under an enactment as a pre-
      requisite to the adoption of the bylaw.
      (3) The Corporate Officer may schedul
      e delegations to another Council
      meeting or committee as
      deemed appropriate according to the subject
      matter of the delegation.
      (4) Council or the Corporate Officer
      may refuse to place a delegation on
      the agenda if the issue is not consider
      ed to fall within the jurisdiction of
      Council. If the delegation wishes to
      appeal the Council or Corporate
      Officer’s decision, the information must be distributed under separate
      cover to Council for their consideration.
      (5) Council may take action following a delegation.

    • I agree that were a strong advocate for open accessible government, but this story is very short on details and great on speculation. We have NO clue of the topic, if it fits into the parameters of the Procedures Bylaw, nor do we know what conversations have been taking place outside of the posted email. Its hard to form an informed opinion when there are so many unknowns. I still find all the fear mongering and speculation being very damaging to getting things done. I look forward to hearing more details, and I will be the first to defend Mrs. Bernard should her delegation request fall under the bylaw rules. She also still has the right to appear and speak at COW and public question time.

    • Derek I am fully aware of the procedural by laws. In case you have forgotten I was mayor for three years. Anyone can fall back on most written rules/laws to use them for whatever purpose they want. Life is not that simple. It is all about what do the citizens expect. This is a fundamental issue is open government or not. I recall going to council meetings before I was elected, people didn’t feel welcome. I don’t know what Diane wants to present about but the excuse that they can’t answer the questions harkens back to council before my time. This appears to be no more than an attempt to stop someone saying something they don’t want to hear. This is the Stephen Harper approach…stifle the critics and hope they go away.

    • Lol. I have not forgotten, I was there supporting you :). I know exactly of what you speak when it comes to the previous council and how much it improved under your leadership. I sincerely hope you are wrong about what I taking place, and I would be great if th district or Mrs. Bernard would help clarify the situation so we can all move forward in one way or another.

  7. Let me tell you about my experience with Councillor Reay during the Arts Funding fiasco. The Sooke Community Arts council did not receive the letter stating that our funding was up for discussion/ vote. It stated that if we wanted to attend that meeting on November 18 we were welcome to do so. Because we did not have the opportunity to be represented at that meeting I contacted Councillor Reay so I could meet her and answer any questions and try to understand why our funding was being cut so drastically. I finally was granted an audience with her at Little Vienna to meet for coffee. The Secretary of the SCAC, Maureen Savoy attended with me. During the course of the conversation with Ms Reay I said that I had checked with the DOS about appearing at the COW on December 7 to speak to the issue of the funding cuts. This was planned to be at the end of the meeting during the Public Input portion. I was told by Ms Reay that I could not do so. I was told by her that because I was not on the Agenda for that meeting that it would not be allowed; that the only way I could speak at the COW on December 7 was if I had full approval from all members of the Council and that she would not give me that approval. To say I was stunned would be an understatement. That was not my understanding of the Public input at the end of a Committee of the Whole meeting. Maureen Savoy was a witness to this. So, I went home and contacted Bonnie Sprinking to confirm one way or another. After conferring with Acting Mayor Kevein Pearson I was send an email confirming that I could in fact speak at the end of the COW for 2 minutes. I rallied a group of Art supporters and we did in fact go to the COW on December 7 and we spoke for our 2 minutes each. Councillor Reay did not attend that meeting. I definitely felt an attempt had been made to silence me and was very distressed that the information that I had been given by Ms Reay was in fact not true.

  8. thank you Wendel to remind some in government that hiding behind government created legislation is immoral and unethical, especially as a first resort – hope you are keeping well btw