Rossland – No support for firing city administrator

  • Mar. 3, 2011 9:00 a.m.

A Rossland councillor’s efforts to axe the city’s top manager have fizzled.

With no other councillor seconding his motion on Monday to terminate CAO Victor Kumar’s employment contract “for cause, effective immediately,” the effort failed.

Councillor Kathy Moore later said the “whole thing got out of control, as far as I’m concerned.

“If there were legitimate concerns, they should have been dealt with in-camera.”

The public is excluded from in-camera meetings, which allows council the opportunity to deal with land, legal and labour issues.

Charlton’s concerns arose from a memo Kumar circulated to council as background to the reappointment of a quasi-judicial, parcel-tax roll review panel.

Charlton, Moore and Mayor Greg Granstrom were the panel members last year, but they failed to authenticate the tax roll.

Kumar’s memo explained that two of the panel contravened procedure in two ways, first by introducing a late amendment to the agenda — “a (panel) member cannot make a complaint and purport to adjudicate on that issue” — and secondly by attempting to “investigate” an alternative method of calculating the parcel tax.

Granstrom was sure to point out that the formula contested by the panel “has gone to the B.C. court and was upheld in the Court of Appeal.”

Kumar’s memo further alleged one or two panel members confused the zoning bylaw with the application of tax.

Legally, Kumar said, the panel must apply objective standards and follow procedure, but “the 2010 review panel prejudiced their independence,” confusing their quasi-judicial function with their “policy decision-making function.”

Charlton called these comments unsubstantiated and libellous, claiming they questioned his integrity and conduct.

Moore said the whole “zoo and circus” was quite unnecessary.

“There’s no need for that.”

Apparently, the rest of council agreed.