Thanks for keeping me on my toes

I appreciate the honesty and frankness of people here on hacking the main frame.  I find it is a very useful way of gathering information on what I can do better as a councilor and what we can do better as a council. 

I do think about what people say on here and the questions that they ask.  Sometimes I don’t know the answers, but questions are good, as well as criticism, after all we can’t get better without it.

In my opinion the more brainpower we have trying to find solutions to the problems we face, the better chance we have of finding a solution. So if you have ideas that you think might help I would be more than happy to listen.

The fact remains however, that while I read this forum fairly regularly, I cannot speak for other members of council. Some may, and others may not.  If you want your voices heard beyond this forum I would encourage you to come to council meetings and talk to us about issues.

Remember this is your community, and it’s your city council.  If you have questions, concerns, ideas, etc. we want to hear them.  Come out to the Committee of the Whole Meetings, bring a delegation to council to talk about a specific issue, email us, phone us.  That is part of our job.

I look forward to hearing from you.

AnnaA, respectfully…
Do you believe that money counsellors spend on travel etc. is returned to taxpayers?

Why haven’t the 2 organizations (city and school district) pooled their resources and worked together, ie: like Richmond. Saved taxpayers money, and put more resources into the education of our children? There have been many dinners at taxpayers expense between the 2 organizations over the years and no action.

Why did the city give the okay to allow Chances into the community and not even read the document released by the province in 2005 about gambling in BC. Specifically the problems the North Coast will face and the support that should be in place prior to a casino opening? Ask 2nd term or greater counsellors about this fact. Ms Payne had the document in her hand.

Hope you are into ballet, I hear it strengthens toes :smile:

I would really like to see every city council member be held accountable for the citizens of Rupert who put them there and be allowed to speak their own mind not seem like they are being controlled by Jacko. I would also like to see Council member Payne,Nurse Payne and Ceo Payne be called on this real serious conflict of interest with the hospital and northern health. This is a dam shame that she has been allowed to where all the bullshit hats for so long and when I hear fellow council members feel the same it is only right that she be demanded to step down.

So we’re going to have a bunch of tertiary industries in Rupert being supported by what, exactly ?

Here is my question for council members.

Why are my property taxes so high?  I pay several thousand dollars per year in property taxes on my home.  I have read that Rupert property taxes are about the highest in the province.

For all these taxes I receive precious little in benefits and services from the city.

And every time I enter city hall I see a bunch of people sitting around not doing much.

Is our city’s administration really run efficiently?  Or are my property taxes so high because we are paying a lot of unionized employees to sit around producing nothing?

I am just wondering because there are a lot of pros and cons to living in this town, and one of the biggest factors against Prince Rupert (when people consider whether to move here, or residents consider whether to move somewhere nicer) is our high property tax rate.

I would welcome an explanation why we pay so much in property taxes and receive so little in return.

Justin Case  what is it exactly that Sheila has done or not done in your opinion to warrant that she step down?

I guess that is it, she has done nothing, so she is a city council member who makes bad calls which always are in favor of the suits, she is/was a nurse and there she is now CEO of hospital. Now my question to that is there noconflict of interest there? I am sure there are people with more to offer then she has and I have heard individuals who question that appointment they are from hospital staff and some in other areas she is in. That is my call and my answer.

Well I guess you can question her contribution to council, as that’s your right as a voter. But I’m not sure that she’s in any kind of conflict, Tony Briglio sat on the Northern health board and was employed by the Credit Union, which makes decisions every day about investment in this town, and  he never had to step down and if we start eliminating candidates from council due to their work then we’d have a pretty thin pool of potential councillors.

Business owners could suggest that Joy Thorkelson should step down as she’s a labour leader and her decisions on behalf of her membership could impact on the community as well.

Parents could suggest that Anna Ashley has an agenda being a teacher and on an on it would go, Ms. Bedard as an operator of a small business/educational operation could likewise be considered in conflict, etc, etc, I guess Nelson is safe, everybody loves hairdressers (except those that are bald I guess), but to start eliminating folks because of their occupation, that would leave us with few people interested in stepping up to make a contribution, misguided or not.

Unless a councillor does something criminal or exhibits corrupt behaviour I don’t quite see how they are in a conflict simply because they have a day job.

Now as for any councillor doing nothing, well that’s why we have the elections and this surely isn’t the first time that the refrain "they’re doing nothing " has been heard in this burg.

I am making the call because she is/was nurse and why did she of all people be appointed to such a position. I call this conflict of interest but you all know that I have been wrong a few times. As far a council members go I believe that none have produced anything as far as my vote went.

Which appointment are you talking about? If it’s the position at Northern Health she recently move into, I would assume she applied for it, was evaluated by a hiring board and eventually was appointed to.

If it’s a position through council which you are referencing then perhaps someone more familiar with council workings would advise, I would guess that council members tend to gravitate towards items that hold their interest or experiences and thus would be appointed on that merit.

At any rate, I don’t see a particular conflict myself, but then I’m not privy to all the inner workings of Northern Health and or council. (Especially council what with all those in camera meetings :astonished:)  

I believe it is the position as CEO at the hospital not being on Health Board, being the CEO is a conflict of interest.

Why is it a bad thing that a nurse is the CEO of the hospital?  Doesn’t that mean someone who knows what it’s like to work the front line gets to make some of the big decisions?

Just to correct something … Sheila Gordon-Payne is not the CEO of the Hospital … she is the Health Service Administrator of the West Cluster of the North West Health Services Delivery Area of Northern Health … and as such she is responsible for the delivery of a wide range of health care services in Prince Rupert and the Queen Charlotte Islands.

And Tony Briglio was never on the Board of Northern Health … he was on the Board of the North Coast Community Health Council, which was one of the organizations lumped into Northern Health by the Liberals.

There is a lot of confusion around conflict of interest. 

There is nothing wrong with a person having a perspective that reflects their education or history. For instance, councillor Garon has a background in small business. I think that she brings some clarity to issues like parking fees, where the council’s thinking is otherwise a bit hard to follow. She is not in a conflict on those issues. She supports small business; that’s her perspective. 

Conflicts typically arise when there are pecuniary interests, direct or indirect, at issue, or if there are conflicting duties to different organizations.

At one council meeting, for instance, the Mayor and councillor Thorkelson reported at length on a fisheries meeting they attended. Jack no doubt represented the City, but did Joy attend the meeting as a councillor or as a union rep. Either is fine, but since she has duties to the City and likewise as a union official, some clarification and a nodding of heads around the table would have been in order, I suggest.

Councillor Ashley avoids all appearances of conflict by immediately leaving the meeting when SD52 is on the agenda, perhaps out of an abundance of caution in some instances. If an issue is remote from a person’s duties as an employee whether there is a conflict may be questionable. 

Having duties on different councils or boards can likewise create conflicts. For instance, Misty Islands Development Corp (which represents the QCI municipalities and electoral areas) hired a former board member. He had resigned from the board in order to apply for the job. The board provided explanations to reassure citizens that no conflict had occurred. Since SCQCRD funds the corporation, he resigned from that board, thus avoiding conflicting duties to two organizations.

Does the City or SQCRD (on which council reps sit as board members) have representation on the Northern Health board? I think that to argue persuasively that there was a conflict, you would have to look at issues such as overlapping, and hence conflicting, memberships on councils, boards and hiring committees. :neutral_face:


Creaking Door, so what you’re saying is that because Anna works for the SD she can’t have an opinion about it.
What about a parent on the SB that has a spouse working for the SD or son working for the SD or …
Leaving the meeting is a copout, the only thing a councillor needs to do is abstain from voting on an issue that is in direct conflict.

Actually, city councilors can’t abstain from voting. 

All city council members, including the mayor have to vote if they are present at the meeting.  If they don’t raise their hand for yes or no, they automatically vote yes.  Many people think the mayor only votes when it is a tie but this is not the case.  Whether they put their hand up or not, they are voting. 

Leaving the meeting is the only way to not have a vote.  So, if a council member wants to prevent themselves from voting on a matter that involves a conflict of interest, leaving the meeting is the only option. 

Of course an elected official can have an opinion, but if there is a conflict they have to leave the meeting, including for the reason mentioned by the previous poster:

“123 (4) If a council member does not indicate how he or she votes, the member is deemed to have voted in the affirmative.” (Community Charter)

Also, if a council member has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest, eg a benefit to themselves individually or a family member, s 101(2) requires that they not remain or attend the meeting, participate in the discussion, vote, or try to influence the decision.

If a council member has another conflict, eg they are an employee, officer or member of an organization that has issues before the council, they are supposed to make a declaration to that effect, then abide by s 101(2).

But that can be a tricky area. For instance, if a mayor of one municipality is also a non-management employee of a neighbouring city, I’m not sure that they need to leave the meeting every time the city’s name comes up in discussion. If they were the CAO they likely would have conflicting duties; if they are on the maintenance crew that seems unlikely. 

Strictly speaking, they do not need to leave unless they have declared a conflict under s 100(2). It may be left to the other council members to raise the possibility of a conflict if there is one.