Now that council has voted to not initiate Supreme Court proceedings pertaining to resolving the alleged conflict of interest case before council pertaining to Coun. Dave Hensman, what is council going to do to regain the lost public trust in its ability to govern, to consider facts objectively and arrive at a fair, impartial and consensual decision?
We witness Coun. Hensman, one absent councillor (on the phone) and the mayor voting against proceeding, whereas four present councillors voted to proceed with court action.
The burning question on the public’s mind is, “was a conflict of interest created or not?” We worry that no member of council present clarified the Community Charter section permitting Coun. Hensman to vote on a motion involving himself, in a matter being alleged to be part of a conflict of interest.
Whereas Section 111 (3) of the Charter seem to permit doing so, the public may find it incongruous.
Some members rightly seemed to feel a judicial, professional, impartial and legal review of the issue, to ascertain facts involved and thus a fair decision would be rendered if conflict was committed or not.
How can an elected council act so divided, on such an important matter? You had to watch the webcast and view the antics to appreciate just how unprofessional council is now perceived.
The mere fact an ill councillor would, on several occasions, on a very poor phone line, be permitted to interrupt council proceedings to speak largely unintelligibly, was deplorable at best.
It would have been prudent and wise to have deferred the meeting, and obtain facts as to the Community Charter. But moreso, the fair and reasonable thing to do is as stated by several – let the court decide.
A $50,000-$60,000 cost was floated – anything to fear-monger – but as Coun. Stevens alluded, in these matters money is not the primary issue.
A sound case before a judge would have resolved the issue, with no hurt feelings nor further perpetuated lack of trust in council and their motives.
George F. Evens