City contract issue cleared up

Council attempts to be as transparent as possible in awkward vote issue

  • Dec. 23, 2011 5:00 a.m.
Parksville councillor Peter Morrison is eager to keep his business Wallpepper Designs separate from council business.

Parksville councillor Peter Morrison is eager to keep his business Wallpepper Designs separate from council business.

To be as transparent as possible, Parksville city council disclosed that the city entered into a contract with a member of council.

The contract is for $2,234 with Wallpepper Designs, co-owned by new councillor Peter Morrison and was signed between his election and taking the oath of office.

Under Section 107 of the Community Charter, municipalities are required to disclose any contracts with a councillor or former councillor that has a fiscal interest, but it doesn’t include councillor-elects, as Morrison was at the time.

Morrison told The News he was the one that requested the disclosure. He said he wouldn’t even have bid if it had been after the election.

“We did it in order to be absolutely squeaky clean,” said chief administrative officer Fred Manson.

Manson added that while it wasn’t part of the reason for the disclosure, council only votes on tenders over $100,000, so they would never have seen this contract and therefore there wouldn’t have been a conflict of interest in any case.

Manson said the tendering process — for a wrap for the region’s new emergency communications team vehicle — followed city policy.