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REPORTING · 12th January 2010
Walter McFarlane

When Councillor Gerd Gottschling said that his new business for Council on Monday, January 11th involved a New Year's Resolution, he explained that it would involve 3 items and explained what those items were. Mayor Joanne Monaghan started writing it down, paused and raised an eyebrow.

“I know last year there was a lot of consternation over the whole new year's resolution issue. […] Normally we have just put together… our policy is that we put a notice of motion in writing and put it in the package and we can all think about it. There is nothing of urgency that this would be on the agenda, I won’t deny it but it would be preferable,” said Councillor Mario Feldhoff.

Mayor Monaghan agreed with him about requiring notice of motion. Municipal Manager Trafford Hall said that there were three ways that a councillor could bring things forward. Put it on the agenda while it is being prepared, the second would be a notice of motion and the third, by bringing time sensitive business to council. He said that this would require two thirds of the council to vote on whether or not to accept it. There were no objections. Mayor Monaghan did not have an objection but reminded Gottschling that he should start putting these items on the agenda.

Later in the meeting, Councillor Gottschling had a chance to speak to the new year's resolution. The first item was a business plan he had proposed during his last new year's resolution. He explained that they had chosen a date in May, then a second date in September and now, a year later, they still did not have a business plan. He asked the Mayor when they could arrange a date. She stated that it was when he put it forward as a motion.

“It concerns me that we are running one of the largest businesses in Ktiimat, perhaps soon to be the largest, with annual revenues of approximately $18,000,000. What successful business operates an $18,000,000 enterprise without a business plan? My concern is that we have a business plan. Rather than being proactive with the economic challenge, we are reactive with a business plan,” said Councillor Gottschling.

On the defensive, Mayor Joanne Monaghan requested that he present a notice motion to create a business plan for a second time. Gottschling pointed out that they had had several motions to create business plans in the past. They were supposed to meet in May and in September. Monaghan pointed out that the first time, one of the councillors was away and the second time, one of the councillors was ill.

Later, Gottschling would make a motion to create the business plan on January 16th. It was seconded by Councillor Randy Halyk. Councillor Mario Feldhoff suggested that the 5 year budget was a business plan. The motion was never called.

The second item was the cameras which were first brought up in 2008. They have sat forgotten since Eurocan made their announcement. Mayor Monaghan asked Municipal Manager, Trafford Hall.

“It was canceled with everything else that was canceled. It is non-essential and non discretionary. We had a resolution to do that and we had a long discussion on it,” said Hall.

Councillor Feldhoff stated that he had been afraid this would happen and he recalled that he was told not to micro manage. Councillor Richard McLaren pointed out that he thought this would come up for discussion again and it just never did. The council debated just what happened at that meeting. Councillor Feldhoff stated that with budget just around the corner, they could budget for it this year.

Our Report on this meeting can be found: here, here, here and here.

With that, Councillor Gottschling moved on to the third item.

“There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that this council, administration and even government are looking hard for solutions for the Eurocan Closure. […] We are talking to a lot of well known people, even cabinet ministers. I am concerned that we are not talking to the one and only individual who can make or break the deal and that is the Premier,” said Councillor Gottschling.

He said that he had heard that Mayor Monaghan had a line to him, she corrected him to say that she had a direct line to the secretary. Gottschling replied they should use that to try and get council an appointment with him. He suggested that without the Premier's help, they are simply spinning their wheels.

Mayor Monagahn stated that she did talk to the Premier when Eurocan made their announcement, and he sent in the group to help them deal with the loss of Eurocan. Mayor Monaghan stated that Premier Gordon Campbell does have plans to come and meet with the council as soon as the Olympics are over. Councillor Gottschling expressed his concern that the Olympics were going to be over at the end of February and Eurocan would remain heated until the end of March. He stated that he did not want to see the money for the feasibility study spent in vain. He wanted to see everything reached by the end of March.

Mayor Monaghan wanted to write a letter, Councillor Gottschling wanted to phone him. “You can’t phone the Premier!” exclaimed Monaghan.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff stated outright that this should have been in the agenda package. He added that they have been working with levels of government and the topic of how to get in touch with government officials was a constant issue. Gottschling pointed out that this was one of those issues that this was a time sensitive business item due to the time constraints.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff suggested that he should have had the item put on the agenda. Gottschling wanted to respond. Mayor Monaghan stated: “I don’t want to argue in public.” She asked for a motion which went back to the business plan (see above). The discussion on the resolution ended there.