REPORTING · 13th June 2013
Mayor Joanne Monaghan began the regular meeting of Council on Monday, June 3rd with her Customary Good News.
“At Aboriginal Day, Chief Ellis Ross and I were honoured to speak at the unveiling of Aboriginal Art at Mount Elizabeth High School. Council and Mayor met with the [Trans Canada Pipelines] at the District of Kitimat and again at a Chamber hosted dinner event at the Chalet in the evening,” said Monaghan.
She was given the honour of meeting with the 5th and 6th graders at Nechako School and discussing District Policies and what being the Mayor of Kitimat is like. She was asked how old she was: “They didn’t get that answer,” said Monaghan.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff and Monaghan attended the unveiling of the Trail Rider at Nechako School. The Trail Rider was purchased with funding raised by Pat Mouland’s class so people with disabilities are able to go hiking around the community.
“They gave me a ride. It was very comfortable. Congratulations to your class Mrs. Mouland for doing a great service for our community,” said Monaghan.
She told everyone how she spoke at a Nechako Fun Day with Councillor Rob Goffinet. It was a part of Get up and Move which was to raise funds for Lactic Acidosis.
Monaghan stated how the PTI public hearing was well attended with presenters both for and against.
CAO Ron Poole was a presenter in a webinar called ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Town.’ It concerned the health impacts on work camps.
They met for breakfast with the clergy of Kitimat and Monaghan was asked to speak at the Relay for Life. She thanked them because it was a great event.
Council met with Shell and she was told WD Fashions would open in the mall. She asked women to be ready for woman’s clothes and shoes.
Finally, she said this is the last meeting they would be holding in the Council Chambers. Their next meeting, June 17th will be in the courthouse, at 606 Mountainview Square. The location was changed for people who required wheelchair accessible location.
Monaghan had one final piece of information. “Council and Mayor have been taken to task for not hearing any more information after the Public Hearing. I just want to put this on the record. At the end of the Public Hearing, I stated that Council could not expect any more discussions or comments from people and I want to explain why this has to occur. With the OCP and Zoning Amendment Applications, the public had an opportunity to inspect the background documents and hear what is said at the public hearing. The reason for having people speak at the hearing is so others can hear the comments and provide their own input at that time. Once the public hearing ends, Council cannot… Cannot receive new information as there is no opportunity for the public to comment on the new information. If you had something to say, it needed to be said in the public hearing so others can hear and offer to provide their input on your comments. It’s not that we were trying to avoid speaking to people, but if we received new information, then we would have to have another public hearing so people can provide comment on that new information. Thank you for listening.”
Comment by Ted Bergen on 14th June 2013
Mary, Thanks for regularily commenting on citizen's issues. You seem to be the only one on council (other than Phil) that is willing to do this. I can only speak for myself, but I really appreciate that you try to keep us citizens educated in the current affairs of our little city.
Comment by Larry Walker on 14th June 2013
I could not agree more with the other gentlemans point of view. From what I have read and gleaned from talking to others far more involved than me...it was that nobody disagreed with the concept but everyone disagreed with the proposed site. How mayor and council could just ignore the public input on this...I will never know.
ps...the next municipal election is "just around the corner"
know the rules
Comment by marymurphy on 13th June 2013
Cliff let me inform you that the rules were placed in front of us on regular bases, and although some took a position early in the process and continued, through communication, and information to the community, I did not. please know that all emails and communication was part of all councillors pkg for deliberation. emails that we are referring to in support of the project are after the fact. anything available was deliberated by each councillor. PTI had two public information sessions, DOK two public consultations and many many written submissions. These reasonable considerations that you are referring to were not in front of this council. We made a decision and I believe its the right decision for the community, it wasn’t easy. Thanks for your input, everyone who presented with concerns, were documented and also placed into a submission to be considered by council.
Does Council Even Know The Rules??
Comment by Cliff Madsen on 13th June 2013
Mayor and Council, I attended the recent Public Hearing on PTI. For any of you in the position of making this decision to say that the public input was in any way balanced is a complete insult to the process and to me as a concerned tax payer. Mary Murphy has publicly commented that she`d received comment from citizens privately and that this input demonstrated that there is a split community on the question of where the PTI camp should be located. You have some nerve, how is the outcome of a "public process" properly decided by your so-called personal e-mails and phone calls??
The Mayor`s feel good article breaks down the process for all of us to follow and she attempts to explain to the public why Council is only able to accept "public" comment when they did and then why "public" input is crucial so that others may comment on it. HOW ARE THESE PERSONNAL E-MAILS WHICH YOU WON`T SHARE PUBLICLY TO ALLOW REASONABLE PUBLIC COMMENT , A LEGITIMATE PART OF THIS PROCESS?" Ask yourselves, if our Federal Government made its final decision on Enbridge relying on personnal e-mails they`d received that weren`t on the record, how should the people respond? If the government ignored the citizen`s petitions to abolish the GST citing e-mails they`d received in confidence, how should the people respond? If the Courts ignored the evidence on then Premier Campbell`s DUI citing supportive personal e-mails, how should the public have responded? And on it goes until there are no rules and people like you get to do what you want for our community and for individuals as you see fit.
I`m not against PTI and I do agree that this type of facility will help to facilitate development in our community. My concern as a tax payer born and raised in Kitimat is that we`ve been played by Council given token input into a process that had a pre-determined outcome. Based on Mrs Murphy`s public comment in the papers and on social media how could a reasonable tax payer view this otherwise? The only public comment that I heard on the material issue of "location" was negative and didn`t support the proposal as it was explained. I read reasonable considerations raised by Council after the fact and I would have appreciated hearing these at the Public hearing. For instance, if there are no other options to relocate PTI why wouldn`t Council or PTI state that for the public record? Is it even true?
The bottom line is, when you place something into the Public forum you don`t get to ignore the Public input you receive and do what you want anyways. Reliance on confidential e-mails is arguably corrupt, what isn`t arguable is that it corrupts the process.