News

Qualicum Beach council gets midterm check-in

The Town of Qualicum Beach’s current council. Back row, from left: Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer, Mayor Teunis Westbroek, Coun. Neil Horner. Front row, from left: Councillors Anne Skipsey and Barry Avis. - hoto courtesy of Town of Qualicum Beach’s website
The Town of Qualicum Beach’s current council. Back row, from left: Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer, Mayor Teunis Westbroek, Coun. Neil Horner. Front row, from left: Councillors Anne Skipsey and Barry Avis.
— image credit: hoto courtesy of Town of Qualicum Beach’s website

Coun. Neil Horner made a public apology to Coun. Barry Avis at Monday’s council meeting after “mocking” Avis about his comments about moving the airport.

This apology came after a midterm check-in on Jan. 23.

“One of the things they said is if you screw up, you should own it. I’d like to take this opportunity to make a public apology to Coun. (Barry) Avis for mocking him a couple of meetings ago about his airport movement comments,” Horner said. “I’m not saying I was wrong, but the bottom line is you praise in public and you criticize in private.”

Qualicum Beach council, along with CAO Daniel Sailland, had a one-day midterm check-in after problems between council and staff arose at a meeting in early November 2016, after some pointed comments about a bylaw amendment.

After the November council meeting, Mayor Teunis Westbroek told The NEWS that it’s apropriate to check in from time to time because things change.

“As I said at the meeting, nobody’s perfect,” Westbroek said. “From time to time, things come to a bit of a head.”

Westbroek also told The NEWS that he went through this at the Regional District of Nanaimo board level when it brought in a consultant for one day.

Westbroek, who is in his sixth term, said he enjoys seeing opposing ideas during council meetings.

“It’s really important to focus on the issue, but not on the person,” he said. “Don’t make it personal.”

Sailland said the check-in ranged from topics such as the town’s strategic plan to communicating with one another.

“We did get into talking about how we address one another and how productive that is in terms of advancing resolutions,” Sailland said.

Sailland said he’s happy with how council is moving forward. He also said it’s all very important in having a functional and healthy relationship in the interest of the public.

“For me, it’s always good to have that ability to re-establish good communication and to be able to address things that may be challenging.”

While Sailland didn’t have the exact numbers for the cost of the midterm check-in, he said that the one-day check-in generally costs a few thousand dollars.

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