By Jill Hayward
Bill Kershaw says he’s worked for the community of Barriere for over 25 years, and has been very involved since moving here 46 years ago.
He has held a number of positions on local organizations, has been a government rep for the area, is currently the TNRD Area O director, and serves the District of Barriere as a councillor.
Kershaw says he wanted to comment on a letter to the editor that appeared in our April 10, 2014 issue, titled ‘Resident questions decisions by council’.
In her letter, Judy May asked if Councilor Kershaw may have been in ‘conflict of interest’ when he voted with council on a decision to install the sewer line on Railway Avenue, due to the fact that he owns property along that line?
Kershaw says he participated in the vote for the sewer line, but did not participate in any vote declaring the area a local service area for commercial development.
“I personally feel sewer is a hand-in-hand part of a local service area,” says the councilor, “Barr-K Investment Corp has three-and-a-half acres backing on Railway Avenue, of which I own 25 per cent. The property is the home of Sam’s Pizza and Ribs, and already has an operating septage system.”
Kershaw also stated, “When plans for a local service area and sewer were adopted in the downtown core area it was recognized that to attract new business, allow for the highway core, and with the need for accommodation being brought on by the new Agriplex, this might be the time to have a development area on the highway also.”
Kershaw says he has asked the Thompson Nicola Regional District for a legal interpretation on the possibility of conflict of interest regarding his participation in the voting process on the subject of the Railway Avenue sewer line.
Councilor Kershaw then read the following statement to this reporter, which he said was the legal opinion provided by the TNRD at his request; “The interest received by Barr-K are in common with all those receiving the service; so in turn there is no conflict”.
“I’m too late to ever have any personal gain on anything,” said Kershaw, “I’m never going to have anymore than I have now. I want to protect not myself, but the community; because letters like this are not good for the community. And that goes for the same thing that’s on the radio, that’s not good for the community as well.”
He also commented, “In her letter she said at the election in November the old council should be out and new people brought in. I would like to point out it’s letters and articles like the one in question that deter people from running. All the information residents want can be found by going to the District website and attending meetings. Not by going to Facebook.”
“In general every council does what they believe is right for the community. The bandshell, roads…what they feel the community is going to benefit from. Another council may come in and have other priorities, and that is what builds communities. Your community is still growing, and that is what we are building.
“The community has been very good to me and my family; and I personally will never have any more than I have now.”