Col­wood mayor col­lars councillor

An­other quits com­mit­tee in fra­cas over politician with an at­ti­tude

Times Colonist - - The Capital and Vancouver Island - BILL CLEVERLEY bclev­er­[email protected]

Col­wood Mayor Dave Saun­ders has stripped one of his coun­cil­lors of his com­mit­tee du­ties for his “negativity” — prompt­ing an­other councillor to re­sign from a com­mit­tee in sol­i­dar­ity.

Saun­ders stripped Coun. Brian Tuc­knott of his chair­man­ship of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s pro­tec­tive ser­vices com­mit­tee. Tuc­knott also sat on the trans­porta­tion and pub­lic in­fra­struc­ture com­mit­tee and the mayor’s task force for en­ergy and eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

“When the com­ments or ac­tions of any councillor af­fects the gen­eral run­ning of the city, or I feel that key staff may leave be­cause of those com­ments or ac­tions, then I am forced to make a de­ci­sion,” Saun­ders said.

Tuc­knott’s fir­ing prompted Coun. Ernie Robert­son to re­sign as a mem­ber of the pro­tec­tive com­mit­tee, al­though Saun­ders says we won’t ac­cept Robert­son’s res­ig­na­tion and ex­pects him to show up.

Tuc­knott said the mayor told him he was be­ing stripped of his du­ties on com­mit­tees and task forces be­cause his crit­i­cal com­ments were re­flect­ing neg­a­tively on the mayor and city. Saun­ders said he would not get into specifics or re­peat Tuc­knott’s state­ments, which he found of­fen­sive.

“I have pre­vi­ously spo­ken to Coun. Tuc­knott about some of his re­marks. I have spo­ken to all of coun­cil in­cam­era about con­duct and pub­lic re­marks and some mem­bers of coun­cil con­tinue to make those state­ments and neg­a­tive state­ments pub­licly that are af­fect­ing staff morale and city busi­ness in my opin­ion,” Saun­ders said.

Tuc­knott has been crit­i­cal of the city’s han­dling of a num­ber of is­sues, in­clud­ing the clo­sure of the bridge at Esquimalt La­goon, a re­cent le­gal loss over sewer debt in the Esquimalt La­goon area and Saun­ders’ goal of trans­form­ing Col­wood into a green learn­ing cen­tre.

In Fe­bru­ary, Tuc­knott called an en­gi­neer­ing staff re­port on the use of gas-tax funds to re­pair the bridge a DTOF — De­signed to Fail — re­port. “The en­tire doc­u­ment was de­signed to find rea­sons for not sav­ing the bridge,” said Tuc­knott, who also wrote a let­ter to the edi­tor of the Times Colonist tak­ing aim at Col­wood’s ad­min­is­tra­tion for “pri­vate agen­das.”

Call­ing Saun­ders “a vin­dic­tive lit­tle prick with­out the abil­ity for log­i­cal thought,” Tuc­knott said he doesn’t see how the sit­u­a­tion can be re­solved.

“It is the most dys­func­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion with which I have ever been as­so­ci­ated and there is ab­so­lutely no lead­er­ship,” Tuc­knott said.

Saun­ders, mean­while, said there is no dys­func­tion, only two coun­cil­lors who are con­stantly in dis­agree­ment with ev­ery­one else.

Robert­son, Col­wood’s long­est-serv­ing councillor, said he wants Saun­ders to reap­point Tuc­knott, whom he pre­vi­ously de­scribed as the only other coun­cil mem­ber who isn’t a “green kook.”

“It looks like the mayor now is re­sort­ing to fir­ing any­body who dares ut­ter a word con­trary to the views he shares. So it’s dic­ta­tor­ship in Bum­ble­wood,” Robert­son said.

He said he had been field­ing calls and e-mails all day from an­gry con­stituents — many of whom are se­niors — who want an ex­pla­na­tion from Saun­ders.

“City hall is not a nice place to be to­day. It’s a very in­su­lar place where the mayor and his se­lect group make all the de­ci­sions and only por­tions of those de­ci­sions al­ready made seem to ap­pear at the coun­cil ta­ble when they ab­so­lutely need rat­i­fi­ca­tion,” Robert­son said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.