EDITORIAL: Clearing the decks

Perhaps some light has now been shined on a Qualicum Beach town council story from 15 months ago

It was about 15 months ago, and we weren’t really sure what instigated the discussion, or more accurately, the impetus behind a passionate statement released by Qualicum Beach Coun. Dave Willie.

We have a better idea now, although Willie will not, cannot, and could not then, elaborate or provide details as to the origin of his concerns.

It was May, 2013 and Willie sent an e-mail to The NEWS, expressing his frustration regarding what was happening behind closed doors at town hall.

“Over the last 16 months, this council has endured endless hours of in-camera meetings,” Willie wrote, being careful not to provide the in-camera details. “Although many of those meetings were reasonable and the results were good for the town, in my view many were not. The sometimes endless discussions centred on important town issues that required a consensus of four of the five members of council. I believe that some of the results protected private interests more than public interests.”

He made a motion at the next council meeting to direct staff “to find a method of paying out unused holidays, older than the one year to ensure a clear policy is in effect to prevent accumulation in the future. The banking of unused sick days should also be explored to see what policy exists in neighbouring municipalities. Over the last number of councils, holiday time, time given for extra hours, etc. has been allowed to accumulate with the result being hundreds of hours banked, at costs exceeding $100,000. More importantly, staff needs to take time off to enjoy with their family, friends and community. It’s also crucial that the town receive the full-time efforts of staff on a full-week basis, not reduced by banked holidays from 10 years ago.”

The staff report related to that motion will be in front of council this coming Monday, which is coincidentally six days after our reporter Lissa Alexander’s exclusive story about the town paying severance, holiday pay and sick leave pay totaling more than $370,000 to two senior staffers in the past 10 months.

The silver lining in all of this? The decks are being cleared of old business just before the Sept. 2 arrival of new town hall boss Daniel Sailland.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Handmade for Hope proposal at Orca Place denied by council

Motion carried to allow use of the former temporary shelter space as exercise room instead

Ballenas Whalers advance to junior varsity Subway Bowl title game

Parksville squad will play for provincial high school football crown

Language showcase at Qualicum Beach Museum

2019 is the year of Indigenous languages

Big Hearts to descend on the Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive

Annual event takes place Nov. 27 in Parksville

VIDEO: UBC exchange students offered $1,000 to help with leaving Hong Kong

The university said 31 of its students were attending four universities in Hong Kong

Federal laws at heart of West’s anger up for debate, as Liberals begin outreach

Vancouver mayor to Trudeau’s western critics: ‘Get over yourselves’

Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011

Teen developed ‘popcorn lung’ due to vaping: Ontario doctors

Boy went from being in perfect health to being on life support after just five months

B.C. judge tosses ‘N’ driver’s claim he was just using phone to decline his mom’s call

Distracted driving laws are more strict for Class 7, or Novice drivers, the judge noted

Woman calls 911 to say she was late for train, asks Ontario police for ‘emergency ride’

Peel Regional Police received more than 180,000 improper calls so far this year

It could take you 218 years to save up for a house in this B.C. neighbourhood

It would take 27 years in the most affordable city in the Lower Mainland

Victim of downtown Courtenay assault dies from injuries

Person of interest identified by RCMP

‘Actors can play any roles’: Debate over ‘colour-blind’ casting after Victoria lawsuit

Tenyjah Indra McKenna filed a complaint over racially-motivated casting

Most Read