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REPORTING · 11th November 2011
Walter McFarlane
Frank Mauro got up to speak at the Kitimat City Council Meeting on Monday, November 7th. He got up to speak about a Retirement Recreation Subsidy. He also welcomed the new Municipal Manager Ron Poole to the community.

He handed documents to the Councillors which showed a subsidy for retired workers at Kitimat did exist. He told them the former Municipal Manager, Trafford Hall told him this did not exist.

Mauro said he came to find out how much the Council gave Hall when he left before and one of the Councillors laughed at him. He told them they gave a package of over $291,000 to the Municipal Manager.

“Under the contract, it says: ‘If he was terminated, he would get the package. To my understanding, Mr. Hall never got terminated and he never left the job. He was already looking for another job and it cost us money. Then we turned around just recently and gave $15,000 of my tax to a mountain, Shames Mountain in Terrace,” said Mauro.

He wanted to know how much the retirement subsidies would cost in the places in Kitimat which were already open. He pointed people were being encouraged to retire in the community of Kitimat.

He asked if the retirees were worth more then the previous manager, if they were worth more then Shames Mountain.

Councillor Mario Fledhoff asked administration if people were entitled to a 50% reduction upon hitting age 50. Martin Gould replied yes. “When a person reaches the age of 60, they receive the child’s rate for entering our facilities,” said Gould.

Feldhoff asked Mauro if the 50% was inadequate. Mauro replied there was an additional reduction for District employees, then accused Feldhoff of laughing in his face the last time.

Councillor Corrine Scott stated the paper did not show a District of Kitimat Retiree subsidy, it showed a senior subsidy. She saw an additional 40% discount. Gould explained the 40% additional rate fell through the cracks and the discount was an error given to several District of Kitimat retirees as well.

Councillor Randy Halyk clarified this was a mistake and not in the union agreement. Gould said it is. Halyk agreed with Mauro, that Hall did not deserve the money as he was not fired, he quit.

Feldhoff called for a point of order, saying this was not on the agenda. It was contrary to the item being raised.

Councillor Gerd Gottschling stated this point is leading the public astray. “The contract clearly debates that if somebody quits, there is no compensation. If they are fired, they are. I think you are stifling conversation and again, leading the public astray,” said Gottschling.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan asked for a point of order as well, saying: “this has gone beyond what we are talking about.”

Councillor Rob Goffinet also called for a point of order as well. “Mr. Mauro has brought a concern that relates to him and his subsidy that he precieves once was accorded to him. I think it is out of order to bring something totally different which is out of order, that relates to someone who is not present. I think we should focus on what Mr. Mauro is bringing in front of us,” said Goffinet.

Gottschling pointed out the point made, that people are being treated differently.

Halyk said this issue was ‘In Camera’ for quite some time. Mauro had asked for the information to be released. “Madam Mayor, at the forum, you suggested an amount outside of the in camera concerns. In fact, you broke in camera by speaking to this whole affair. I would really like to be involved in this in one sense. If you have broken our act and brought out something that was in camera, then we should discuss this. We should bring this to the public’s attention as to what really happened at this railroad whatever it might be but anyway you look at it, if you brought it up, then we need to go beyond the silence then I think we need to go beyond that…” said Halyk

“I did not break the silence,” interrupted Monaghan.

“… and show the public that truly, that what happened is not what’s been shown,” said Halyk.

“I did not break the silence. I believe that the media has already gotten that information as to their ability to do so and thank you,” said Monaghan.

Goffinet said there never was a subsidy for District of Kitimat Retirees. Gould agreed. Goffinet wanted to know if it would be in order, since they are in collective bargaining with CAW 2300, if they wished to raise this, they would be free to raise it.

Poole explained he would rather not be discussing negotiations at the Council table. Goffinet said it was theoretical. Mauro sat down.