Councillor responds to censure story

A press release from the City of Rossland was published recently (Resolution censures Councillor Charlton Trail Times Oct. 28).

A press release from the City of Rossland was published recently (Resolution censures Councillor Charlton Trail Times Oct. 28).

There are two sides to every story.

This is a very long and involved story but it essentially reduces to nothing more than a politically motivated attempt to silence me during the current election campaign. Council refuses to release all the documents related to this issue so citizens can make up their own minds about what is going on. I’m not convinced that the timing of this press release was accidental.

The complaint, by CAO Victor Kumar, started when I wrote a letter to the editor about a garage that was built on City property. The Building Inspector issued a building permit even though there was no encroachment agreement in place nor had a variance been granted to allow construction in the setback mandated by the Zoning Bylaw.

Consultants are hired to give their clients what they want. In his report, the consultant, Mr. Al Strachan of Kelowna, chose not to determine who was right or wrong about specific issues raised by Mr. Kumar such as issuance of the building permit. Instead, the report focused on comments made by people who had been identified by Mr. Kumar and Mayor Granstrom. These comments, as quoted by Mr. Strachan, had nothing to do with the issues raised by Mr. Kumar.

The inference I get when reading Mr. Strachan’s report is that I should not ask questions, request information, point out problems with the actions or advice of staff, nor write letters to the editor to inform citizens about things going on at City Hall. If I did not do these, I could not represent the interests of the people who elected me.

Contrary to the press release issued by the City, Council did not pass a resolution censuring me. Council, in the absence of Councillors Moore and Stradling, passed resolutions based on recommendations of Mr. Kumar and Mayor Granstrom. Mr. Strachan himself made no recommendations other than the city should seek legal advice prior to releasing his report. No copies of any such legal advice have been provided to Council.

Laurie Charlton

Rossland