Barriere resident questions decisions by council

Concerns about ambitious projects and council 's decisions raised by citizen

To the editor,;

I am writing this letter in hopes of having a few questions answered that come to mind after reading about the last council meeting in your newspaper and listening to the Barriere Round-up show on The Bear radio station.

Firstly, I’m wondering is it a conflict of interest for Councillor Kershaw to have voted at the council meeting that approved the sewer line installation on Railroad Ave.?

I am sure that no impropriety was intended, but because Councillor Kershaw owns the Sam’s Pizza building and property, does this not create a conflict of interest?

Does his property significantly benefit from this decision?

If the answer is yes, then should the vote in favour of the sewer installation  be overturned  and council  take a new vote without Kershaw?

Does the fact, that Councillor Kershaw owns one of the six buildings attached to this new sewer line,  make this a perceived breach of trust and put the entire voting process at risk as a result?

Perhaps a swift resolution for this matter before becoming a possible public scandal would be a good idea?

I am sure that it was an oversight by the committee and Councillor Kershaw, and that hopefully I am barking up the wrong tree.

Can someone from council look into this matter and follow up letting us know what the legal guidelines are on this matter.

Next, when council was asked by Mike Fennell at the Committee of the Whole for the District of Barriere meeting on Monday, March 3,  “Where are the funds coming from to pay the Railroad Avenue installation?”

The response was “It comes from a small communities grant that is received annually from the government.”

My question for council and the mayor is, “Why can’t we use this annual community grant for something else that would be of more value to the taxpayers other than installing sewer lines on Railroad Avenue”, and can they tell us how much money are we talking about here?

I want to know how much this annual grant is worth, and why council deemed it prudent to spend this money from general revenues on the Railroad Avenue sewer installation?

Why not earmark this annual community grant for something that benefits the WHOLE community not just six businesses? I think this is being poorly thought out.

It appears to me that too many projects have been started, over ambitious, expensive and with no real planning in place.

These ambitious  projects continue being approved and started at an alarming rate.

The HY Louie building is a prime example. A council vote was approved to do the roof, with work by the contractor starting the very next day after the vote.

How does this happen?

Were the contractors lined up and ready to go before the vote? Scary stuff!

The next election is in November folks, and I for one look forward to welcoming  a new council that will lead the community with an eye to keeping the interests of the taxpayers at heart,  and not get caught up in grandiose ideas that are costly and poorly executed in the short term,  and not necessarily in our best interests in the long term  – leaving us, the taxpayers, in a kind of a loose-loose situation.

Sincerely,

Judy May,

A concerned citizen

Barriere, B.C.