Resident apologizes to city

The City of Vernon has taken action against a resident.

Art Gourley has signed a letter of apology for comments he has made to city officials.

“It says I’m sorry and won’t do it again. I don’t want to go to court over something stupid,” said Gourley, who is a painter and has previously ran for council.

In a notice of civil claim, the city alleged “Gourley has persistently harassed and verbally abused city staff and city councillors.”

Among the allegations were, “making persistent and unreasonable demands on city staff to assist Gourley beyond the scope of their employment responsibilities, telephoning a city councillor at home to make abusive statement and approaching councillors in public and making abusive statements and insulting them,” and regularly delivering letters to city hall containing offensive statements.”

The notice of civil claim also alleged Gourley was “not leaving or stopping unacceptable conduct at city hall, the operations building and the community services building as soon as practical after receiving directions to do so.”

In the notice, the relief sought by the city included injunctions prohibiting Gourley from entering, without an appointment, city facilities, injunctions prohibiting Gourley from impeding or interfering with the operations of the city and injunctions “prohibiting Gourley from molesting, annoying, harassing or communicating with the councillors or staff of the city.”

With the letter of apology signed, Gourley is permitted in city hall and when asked if the matter is resolved, Mayor Akbal Mund said, “As of now.”

Mund would not get into further details as it’s a legal matter.

Gourley isn’t sure why his previous comments have created such concern.

“They were appropriate, absolutely. I never hurt anybody,” he said.

“It’s just my opinion and I talk to people and they have problems with the city.”