Police called after altercation at council

Fracas involved Coun. Rick Kasper and mayor’s husband over appointment
to CRD.

This story has been updated

 

RCMP were called after an altercation between Coun. Rick Kasper and Mayor Maya Tait’s husband, Alex, following a special council meeting on March 23.

Police confirmed they were called the next day about the incident.

No charges are being considered.

“Our file is concluded,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur.

Sources say Alex Tait arrived near the end of the council meeting where politicians were discussing the municipal budget, pointing and talking to Kasper in a “very aggressive manner.”

He was ushered out the door and council moved into an in-camera session.

Alex Tait, a lawyer, waited more than 40 minutes in the parking lot, and then approached Kasper when he emerged from the meeting and started “yelling and screaming at Rick again and calling him names,” the source said.

Police arrived a short while later and talked to both men.

Kasper and Alex Tait refused to comment on the incident.

Mayor Maja Tait, who was still on maternity leave at the time, was not at the meeting, but was aware of the interaction between the two men. She referred any comments to her husband.

“I don’t keep him on a leash,” she said

The incident appears to stem from a council decision not to reinstate Mayor Maja Tait to the Capital Regional District board, following her four-month maternity leave.

On Nov. 30, three days after the mayor left on maternity leave, council filled the position in what was thought an interim position until her return. At the time, Kasper was the alternate director to the CRD.

Council must nominate a director for the regional board. Traditionally the role is filled by the mayor.

“I was elected to represent this municipality to all levels of government that includes the CRD,” Tait told the News Mirror on Friday, when she officially returned from leave.

Kasper said he has never made any overtures to stay as the CRD director.

“I’ve never made any demands because it’s a council decision. It’s not Rick Kasper’s decision. It’s not the mayor’s decision. It’s a council decision, he said.

“A lot of people just assume that people go there by divine right. It’s not the case.”

Under the B.C. Employment Standards Act, an employer cannot fire an employee or change a condition of employment without the employee’s written consent as a result of the leave.

Mayor Maja Tait expects to bring the issue of CRD representation back to council on Monday night.

The pay for a municipal director on the CRD is $11,333 with an expense allowance of $5,667 for a total base compensation of $17,000. Alternate directors are paid for each meeting they attend.