Courtenay Coun. Doug Hillian has attempted to set the record straight for his decision at last week’s council meeting to read aloud an Andrew Gower letter that criticized the Friends of Maple Pool rally last Monday.
Rally attendees demanded help for the homeless and an end to the lawsuit between the City and Maple Pool Campsite owners Dali and Jin Lin. Gower suggested the rally was political grandstanding days before Saturday’s civic election.
“I received some criticism for not acknowledging that the engineer (Gower) working on the Maple Pool resolution whose letter I read was also involved as a participant in the campaign for one of the candidates,” Hillian said at Monday’s council meeting. “I apologize if that created any misunderstanding.”
Mayor Larry Jangula was upset about Hillian’s decision to read the letter at the Nov. 10 council meeting.
“I felt it was absolutely incorrect and improper to do it,” Jangula said. “I’ve since received some correspondence from the Friends of Maple Pool who dispute many of the facts that you brought up as facts. In the future, that won’t happen again in this council.”
Despite his apology, Hillian still feels it is significant that Gower wrote a letter indicating the city’s position as representing the will of council in an Aug. 6 letter, and supporting the work of city staff to resolve the problem.
“I still think it’s the basis for the solution to this problem, and I’ll stand by that,” Hillian said.
The Aug. 6 letter says council is prepared to suspend the legal action until the new year to allow the Friends to attempt to bring the campsite into compliance.