The ongoing troubles at Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District, long documented on various websites and local newspapers, have broken out into open dispute.
With one-third of the regional district’s board making it clear at last Friday night’s meeting that they no longer have confidence in the chair Barry Pages, another element of intrigue has begun to swirl around the embattled organization.
The latest developments add yet another fascinating chapter in one of the more tempestuous of local government operations.
Background details of the controversy were provided the Wednesday edition of The Daily News.
REGIONAL DISTRICT ROWS OVER RECORD OF MEETINTG
By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
One-third of the regional district’s board made it clear at Friday night’s meeting that they no longer have confidence in chair Barry Pages.
Ian Hetman (Rural Graham Island), Karl Bergman (Oona River), and Des Nobels (Dodge Cove/Port Simpson), all voted in favour of a non-confidence motion in Pages, mayor of Masset, following allegations that Pages had changed the official record of the last board meeting to alter who controls the taxpayers’ money as well as the alleged suspension of the regional district’s administrator last month.
“In light of the way things are in the present and in the light of some of the things that have happened at this board, I would like to bring forward a motion of non-confidence in the chair,” said Nobels.
The public meeting, which took place behind locked front doors, included the presence of the regional district’s lawyer.
It started when Nobels pointed to “alterations and significant discrepancies” in the minutes of the January meeting, particularly a motion that when monies need to be spent “the Administrator seek signatures of the Chair and Vice-Chair prior to other signing authorities.”
Despite the fact that the minutes of this meeting were taken by administrator Janet Beil, they were typed up by Pages.
Nobels noted that while the issue of who could act as a signatory was discussed at the meeting, it was never adopted as a motion.
“This [the minutes] shows it as a motion,” said Nobels.
Previously, four directors including the chair, vice-chair Tony Briglio, two directors Christine MacKenzie and Des Nobels as well as the administrator could all act as signatories for financial transactions.
This motion means the four directors and administrator will no longer be equal but require the signatures of chair and vice chair if they are available.
However, Pages argued the motion included in the minutes was requested at the last meeting and he got the support of the other six board members to approve those minutes.
“It was moved and seconded that it be included in the minutes,” said Pages.
The approval of the minutes prompted Nobels to bring forward his motion of non-confidence.
“The way things have gone on around here in this last little bit it has been very awkward trying to decide what are and what are not the discussions that took place,” he said.