News

No support for motion to fire Rossland CAO

Coun. Laurie Charlton’s motion to terminate CAO Victor Kumar’s employment contract “for cause, effective immediately,” forwarded at the end of the acrimonious Feb. 14 meeting, was met by a resounding silence in council on Monday — with no second to the motion, it failed.

Coun. Kathy Moore commented in a separate interview, “that whole thing got out of control, as far as I’m concerned. If there were legitimate concerns, they should have been dealt with in-camera.”

Charlton’s concerns arose from a memo Kumar circulated to council as background to the reappointment of a quasi-judicial parcel tax roll review panel.

Charlton, Moore, and Mayor Greg Granstrom were the panel members last year, but they failed to authenticate the tax roll.

Kumar’s memo explained that two of the panel contravened procedure in two ways, first by introducing a late amendment to the agenda — “a [panel] member cannot make a complaint and purport to adjudicate on that issue” — and secondly by attempting to “investigate” an alternative method of calculating the parcel tax.

Granstrom was sure to point out that the formula contested by the panel “has gone to the BC court and was upheld in the Court of Appeal.”

Kumar’s memo further alleged, “one or two panel members are confusing [the zoning bylaw with the application of tax.]”

Legally, Kumar said, the panel must “apply objective standards,” and “follow procedure,” but “the 2010 review panel prejudiced their independence,” confusing their “quasi-judicial function” with their “policy decision making function.”

Charlton called these comments “unsubstantiated” and “libellous,” claiming they questioned his “integrity and conduct.”

Moore said the whole “zoo and circus” was quite unnecessary. “There’s no need for that.”

Apparently the rest of council agreed.

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