It does seem sometimes that nothing comes easy for this town council.

Councils everywhere appoint members to act as liaisons between the municipality and various organizations like neighbourhood associations and chambers of commerce. Typically, councillors work these things out amongst themselves and when it comes time to approve the appointments at a regular council meeting, the whole list is presented en masse and approved without much discussion.

Not in the world of Qualicum Beach town council.

Monday night’s regular council meeting was time to approve the appointments. What should take seconds took major amounts of minutes, mostly due to Coun. Scott Tanner.

Now, Tanner is a dedicated public servant. All of the councillors seem to be. And if you think they are not public servants because they are paid, you should know that if you worked out their hourly rate, it would be well below the minimum wage, perhaps below the proverbial children-in-sweat-shops wage.

First, Tanner wanted a separate vote for each and every one of the roughly 30 appointments. When it came time for certain appointments, he stopped the voting train and made comments about the need for continuity instead of change, spurring comments from other councillors about the educational value of variety.

Whatever. It’s clear Tanner was trying to avoid his political-uncomfortable zone — he was appointed to be the liaison for both the downtown business association and the chamber of commerce. Tanner has his own business and certainly doesn’t come across as anti-business but, well, our guess is he’d rather be doing something related to the environment or fish or social development.

At least Mayor Teunis Westbroek added some levity to the dragged-out process when he quipped with a laugh to Tanner during the talk about the chamber of commerce appointment: “You’re not going to get out of that one.”

One thing that isn’t all that funny — whether its quorum arguments or haggling over appointments, it’s amateur hour with this council all too often.




— Editorial by John Harding



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