Setting record straight

Dear editor,

Residents protested outside a closed Union Bay Improvement District meeting last week. What Godfrey calls an “unruly gallery” at a recent UBID meeting resulted in them being closed to the public. File Photo

Residents protested outside a closed Union Bay Improvement District meeting last week. What Godfrey calls an “unruly gallery” at a recent UBID meeting resulted in them being closed to the public. File Photo

Dear editor,

On behalf of Alan de Jersey, chair of the Union Bay Improvement District, I am writing to set the record straight with regard to the proceedings at the Dec. 15 meeting of the UBID board.

Chair de Jersey has been accused of speaking about the proceedings of this meeting while not being in attendance due to illness. Chair de Jersey was briefed by me, as acting chair of that meeting, and had the opportunity to review the official digital recordings of the discussions and comments made during the meeting.

In keeping with our policy, the chair is the only representative of the board permitted to speak publicly about any business of the UBID. Thus, chair de Jersey was following board policy by answering inquiries from the media.

As for Ellis and Alcock’s public statements that they witnessed no “mob” atmosphere at the meeting, this can only be attributed to one’s perspective. However, to be facing an unruly gallery demanding answers to questions that were inappropriately asked by a trustee during a regular board meeting was very unsettling.

And, yes, I did consider it to be mob-like when a dozen or more people were out of order and making unruly comments during a board meeting. There were some in attendance who later voiced concerns that they would not attend future meetings because of the atmosphere.

The Taxpayers for Accountability in Governance (TAG) group continues to suggest that the administration of the UBID is faulty and supplies information that is incomplete or inaccurate. The two new trustees, Cleve Goldswain and Bruce Livesey, form part of that group and publicly campaign against the current administration and board of the UBID.

Mary Reynolds has signed a consent order to, among other things, remove blog information from the Internet. Mrs. Reynolds has failed to comply completely with the signed consent order and now faces contempt of court charges.

The board meetings of an improvement district are not required to be open to the public.

The only public meetings required are annual general meetings or special meetings of the landowners.

Recent disruptive behaviour from the people attending, and the actions of the two TAG trustees, has caused the regular board meetings to be closed to the public until further notice, as legislated in the Local Government Act, part 23.

The administration, including the board of trustees, has been in contact with the ministry on an ongoing basis regarding the above circumstances.

On the advice of ministry staff, Robert Rounds, an expert consultant in improvement districts operations and governance, has been engaged to provide guidance and training to both staff and trustees.

The ministry may soon present some alternatives to be made. The electorate ultimately controls what will happen in Union Bay. Be informed and get involved in what may happen in your community.

D. Godfrey

Editor’s note: Dave Godfrey is a UBID trustee.