WHITE ROCK — There will be no reversal of a controversial decision to rescind plans to move White Rock council chambers.
A motion brought forth by Coun. Helen Fathers at Monday night’s meeting that would have seen the previous motion revisited was defeated four to three, to the disappointment of Fathers and fellow council members Larry Robinson and Alan Campbell.
In her motion, Fathers requested that a second legal opinion be sought on the legality of council’s decision to rescind the motion at the Sept. 9 meeting, citing “the failure to follow process under section 26 Part (1) of the Community Charter.”
The motion in question was brought forth by Coun. Bill Lawrence, which saw him reverse his past vote in favour of moving council chambers to a former church building on Fir Street, also owned by the city. Lawrence’s reversal came about following an expression of interest he received
from a local IT company in potentially leasing the space.
Robinson said it was council’s responsibility to ensure they were following due process, as that was drilled into them shortly after assuming office in 2011.
“(Procedures) are necessary, when you’re in an elected office, to ensure that any decision especially something like the disposal of city property is impartial, at arm’s length and in the best interest of the city,” said Robinson. “At this point it doesn’t really matter if we lease the church, it
doesn’t really matter who we lease it to, what does matter is how we do the process and because this is... a substantial amount of controversy around this, I think it’s in the best interest of everybody, including us as councillors who want to have clean hands, to seek another legal opinion.”
Despite Robinson’s plea, the majority of council voted against the second legal opinion, with Mayor Wayne Baldwin and councillors Louise Hutchinson, Grant Meyer and Lawrence against.
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