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COMMENTARY · 15th January 2010
Walter McFarlane
Something about that last article does not seem right…

Councillor Randy Halyk provided council a report under new business. The report was not on the agenda. Mayor Monaghan thanked him and Councillor Feldhoff, although he spoke at the end, did not scold Halyk for providing a report that was not on the agenda…

Where have we heard all of this before?

It seems that the feud is continuing on into 2010. Hurt feelings remaining from the Gottshcling / McLaren fiasco of 2009 have not been affected by the bandages attached at that first public council meeting in September.

Now, while we agree that Councillor Randy Halyk’s statement at council is just as important as Councillor Bob Corless’s update on the Regional District at the last meeting of 2009, we also think that the New Years Resolution presented by Gottschling is just as important and the efforts to squelch it that Mayor Monaghan and Councillor Feldhoff went through were just as interesting.

“I know last year there was a lot of consternation over the whole new year's resolution issue. […] 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 after Councillor Gottschling provided in brief a summery of what was to be discussed.

Councillor Gottschling requested an update on two items. The cameras, which have been sitting in limbo since council unwittingly canceled them in November as well as a meeting to form a business plan that was called and carried last June but was canceled because one of the City Councillors fell ill.

We all know that there is no way that City Council can carry out business while one of it’s members is not present, right?

Now it’s a given that these are requesting updates and not new business or reports. It can be said that it is not exactly fair to dump them on Administration and expect an immediate update. Regardless, Administration was able to provide an update on the cameras. As for the Business Meeting, he was told just why it had been put off and how one Councillor falling ill has successfully vetoed a motion that had been carried.

The more pressing matter is the question of Euorcan. Councillor Gerd Gottschling, in a telling exchange, suggested the Council press the government to determine the support for the Viability Group in saving Eurocan. He spoke about the delays and not being able to wait until the Olympics are over to deal with this situation.

Below is a transcript of a part of the dialogue transcribed by Merv Ritchie:

Monaghan responded “My suggestion would be to write him a letter asking to ah. . .’

“Phone him!” interjected Gottschling.

“I don’t,” and the she hesitated a moment before stating in a condescending tone, “You can’t phone the Premier.”

“I do”

“You can if you like but I can’t.” she replied impatiently, “I can call his secretary but I’m not going to call the Premier because they wont have access to him.”

JUST WHO ELEVATED CAMPBELL TO STATUS OF THE DIVINE??? A Mayor with a backbone might demand an immediate response from the Premier and should he not take her call and respond in a positive manner, the next move would be to organize a press conference on behalf of the citizenry of Kitimat to expose his lack of concern. It is not a time to ask, it is a time to demand, the Mill is set to close in two weeks.

Of course, the Euorcan issue is still one of council’s priorities, right?

Councillor Feldhoff stated that this particular item should have been in the council package as well. Municipal Manager Trafford Hall had pointed out earlier in the meeting that a Councillor can bring up a motion under new business if it is under a time constraint. Is saving Eurocan not suddenly under a time constraint? It should be. We are sitting at 2 hours to midnight on the ‘Save Eurocan clock’ with 15 days until their January 31st deadline.

As for refusing to contact the Honourable Gordon Campbell.

Somewhere along the line we have forgotten who the servant is and who the master is. The argument the Mayor provided is that the leadership of this province now has a hierarchical structure similar to the Italian Mafioso where one doesn’t disturb Don Campbell.
What is our Council doing?
Comment by Mike Forward on 18th January 2010
I'm not sure what about this city council irritates me more.

The fact that Mayor Monaghan appears unwilling to take any kind of channels of communication to reach the powers that be to ask for assistance, or at least be unwilling to describe in detail what channels she may have already tried, or the fact that for the second year in a row Councilor Gottschling has attempted to create a brouha with another "New Year's Resolution" which almost seems designed to simply derail Council once again with petty arguments like the ones that plagued them for most of 2009.

Message to council - please start acting like adults.
Want the Premier to call you?
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 17th January 2010
Try this method. Put a fairly large ad in the Wanted section of the Southern papers. Say you are desperately seeking the Premier who seems to have disappeared, anyone seeing please ask him to call Mayor Monaghan ASAP!. I think a Mayor of Prince Rupert invented that technique in order to get a response from a Forest Minister. It will work but you could try it after calling his office and leaving a message first. If that didn't work I would try the ad. Fax a copy to the press gallery in Victoria as well.