In July of last year a legal opinion was sought by senior management (Town of Oliver) from a Vancouver law firm – Young Anderson – specialists in municipal law.
In September of 2018 – the council of Town of Oliver surprised water councillors and the public with this opinion.
After the civic election, new Mayor Martin Johansen – told water councillors that their attendance at meetings was to be limited and asked them to leave shortly after a brief discussion on
any “water matters” on the agenda.
That did not go down well with many.
In 2019 – The Town of Oliver sought a second legal opinion which basically did not change the arguments. Here is the last para…..
Based on discussion behind those big closed door – strict behavior is needed as water councillors have been invited to return to the table to listen to all discussions on all matters. BUT not to discuss matters on the agenda not deemed the business of the Town of Oliver’s water utility.
They have been invited to review all agenda matters prior to a meeting to determine what is and what is not a “water matter”.
To be fair to the writer of the legal opinion and history – NEVER in almost 30 years has anyone challenged the status quo of ALL councillors being at the council table on all matters.
Interesting piece of info I had been seeking was revealed this week. Below
So why is that important?
Well during budget talks for “water matters” if there is unanimous consent of seven members – then water rates and a water budget can be implemented quickly and NOT referred to the provincial government for a virtual “over ride” on a council vote.