That was the word from city manager Penny Ballem this afternoon. Although Councillor Suzanne Anton didn’t get a seconder to her motion, which I posted earlier, asking for clarification in how those contracts were awarded, Mayor Gregor did ask the city manager to give an explanation since “questions have been raised.”
Penny’s statement: “It was a contract that followed all of the appropriate procedures. We had legal services review it and they have no issues.” (As I posted previously, I don’t think there were legal issues at all with these contracts. I just think they don’t pass the smell test for various reasons.)
All in all a very quiet meeting this afternoon, as Councillor Anton has apparently decided to try out new strategies in her role as one-woman opposition. Instead of lots of challenges and back-and-forthing, she’s using procedure and gentle irony instead.
In new business, she took a few minutes to say a thanks to Geoff Plant, the former B.C. Liberal attorney-general who worked as the Project Civil City commissioner — a thanks that the current city council didn’t express in any public way. Suzanne listed Plant’s achievements, including a big push on spotlighting the problem of people with both mental health and addictions issues, help in creating the new Streetohome Foundation, stabilization of residential hotels, a “positive ticketing” program where police give kids rewards for good behaviour, and some bylaw reinforcement changes. She then read out a long quote on the need to do things differently and reminded the mayor that it was his quote — and that everything he’d talked about was what Geoff Plant had been working on. “And I’d strongly encourage your worship to continue with the efforts he was making,” she ended.
The mayor, looking a little abashed, added his thanks for Plant’s work.