Penticton council still missing point

Unlike those in attendance, narrow camera views are limiting the ability of taxpayers to observe the interaction of council and staff.

(re: Council defends procedure, Western News, Nov. 6) regarding statements made by myself.

Council: “There was no error in procedure in the Oct. 21 City Council meeting.”

I agree, the mayor’s intercession prevented an error in procedure when he overrode the CAO’s out-of-order motion.

Council claims the unfortunate narrow view of the camera did not record the actions of Couns. Hopkin and Jakubeit as mover and seconder of the motion. The chair no longer recognizes movers and seconders for the benefit of observers so online taxpayers are limited to what the camera views.

Why is the camera view that narrow?

Unlike those in attendance, narrow camera views are limiting the ability of taxpayers to observe the interaction of council and staff.

Previous wide angle views are replaced with over-use of documentation further limiting the effort of taxpayers to observe council interactions online. At the last council meeting the camera view was further narrowed to exclude the CAO almost entirely.

As the councillors and staff have the ability to turn their mikes off and on as they speak, those that choose to watch the proceedings online are hampered as unlike the gallery; off-camera or off-mike interactions cannot be seen or heard.

Council: “The CAO does not sit on the board of Tourism Penticton.”

The CAO, Annette Antoniak did sit on the now defunct Penticton Business Development Board which failed to reach an agreement with the Penticton Hospitality Association over the use of the hotel tax (Group’s demise leaves tourism in limbo, Western News, Feb. 23, 2012). Her second-in-command Chuck Loewen sits on the Tourism Penticton board as city rep and treasurer.

A July 3, 2012 council report recommends council pursue a one-employee policy. All other employees must report directly or indirectly to the city manager; Annette Antoniak. This policy once instituted effectively makes Annette Antoniak a member of the Tourism Penticton Board in absentia.

What, if any, bearing does the above have on the current conflict between the hoteliers and the City over the hotel tax?

Council: “The freedom of information request, which Ms. Slump states she is still waiting for, was, in fact, responded to via letter on July 9, 2013.”

I did not receive a letter from the city on my FOI request and am still waiting. Please mail the letter again and make sure it is to the correct address. Please be factual, taxpayers are tired of the spin.

Elvena Slump

Penticton

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