Editorial: Gravy train is stopping

Commentary on the district's rising legal fees and the possible reason

Who makes the deals and signs the contracts at the municipal hall? Apparently it is supposed to be council but during the past five years the CAO has been putting ink to paper, in some cases, without council approval.

For example, the district’s CAO and previous mayor signed a deal with Prestige where they would not have to pay their DCCs and the money would go towards the district’s $300,000 per year for the use of the $1.5 million convention centre. This can happen and it likely does in some municipalities, if it goes through the proper channels and a payment schedule is arranged, but what is awry here is that this was apparently done without the knowledge of council.

Council has been going through a number of contracts since incorporation and they are finding plenty to refer to lawyers and it is costing us a bundle. Although with some renegotiation we are saving a little on the EPCOR deal. Everything is being looked at while the CAO is on “holiday.”

Now if this was a situation that popped up in the private sector there is a good likelihood that the CAO would be given their walking papers without any kind of sizeable settlement. If this is not grounds for dismissal without compensation, then nothing is.

Council has to think about what the cost will be to the taxpayer if some kind of settlement/agreement is reached. Who is responsible for the CAO’s employment contract in the first place? We should not be “rewarding” anyone for costing the district tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Let’s cut our losses and do what is best for the entire community.