Vernon councillors protest timing of report

Some Vernon politicians took the unusual step of opposing a meeting agenda Monday.

Councillors Catherine Lord and Bob Spiers voted against adoption of the committee of the whole agenda because it included an information session on the bylaw enforcement department.

“We are in the middle of a core services review and it (staff report) could be seen as influencing the process,” said Lord.

The review, which will be completed by April, is an attempt by the city to make sure services are of the highest value and limited resources go to community-valued programs.

Lord believes other departments are not being given an opportunity to update council on their activities and it could appear like bylaw enforcement is being singled out for attention.

“The timing was totally off. It should have waited until after the core review is completed,” she said.

Spiers shares similar concerns with Lord.

“It’s not appropriate that we have the report now,” he said.

However, Mayor Rob Sawatzky says there were no ulterior motives behind the report.

“If the presentation was meant to be a sales presentation, I wouldn’t pay very much for it,” he said.

“It wasn’t promotional, it was informational.”

Will Pearce, chief administrator officer, says it was his decision for the staff report and it was in response to previous council concerns about  bylaw enforcement.

“It was not intended to influence council’s decision (on the core service review),” said Pearce.


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