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LETTER: City in Conflict of Interest

Dear Editor,

The video media tech recording council meetings is publicly discrediting and debasing our mayor. He published demeaning things about Councilor Butler (that she had him remove on the basis of Respectful Workplace policy). He openly states biased opinions about issues that intimately involve the city and its residents. And all this is done on the same website  (gftv.ca) as official city business (the council videos).

It’s my understanding that this media tech must have the approval of the majority (but not all) of city council to do this job. In my opinion this puts the majority of council (what appears to be an “inner circle”) in the unethical position of being complicit in disparaging our mayor / any residents inferred, and implies that council agrees with any other biases and opinions published on gftv.ca. Does this seem right to you? Talk about conflict of interest.

Just on a compassionate basis, how would you like to be the mayor, at the same meetings with a media tech that publicly tries to humiliate you?

I’ve complained about this issue via letter directly to the city executive June 29th, asking that all such debasing, critical, and biased comments be taken down off the internet immediately. I haven’t seen or been informed of any action taken as of July 24th.

You can go to http://www.gftv.ca/?p=5058#comment-6888and see a cartoonish mock-up of our mayor atop city hall, seriously looking down, with the title “Why would you want to live here?” At first glance it looks like the Mayor is saying this, but these words were not actually spoken by the mayor, if you check the associated text of his radio interview. These words are from the media tech.

Then, derogatory words from the media tech: “Kastle Konrad” “Our mayor shows he is a liability… Shame on you Mr. Mayor. You do our town damage. You set back the clock on efforts to attract people and businesses to our town.”

Do you think this council would allow such a thing if one of their “inner circle” were being attacked? No way. They have their own agenda here. How unprofessional and disrespectful can you get? Jerry Springer, anyone?

Like anyone else, this media tech is entitled to his opinion, but NOT on a website containing official City business.

Any publications to do with the City of Grand Forks should be strictly professional, factual, and unbiased. The council videos should be:

  1. the exclusive property of the city
  2. posted only on the city's official website grandforks.ca. 
  3. posted strictly as factual video record, without commentary

How do you think this type of offensive and derogatory representation reflects on our city? On the integrity of council? Or the city executive? This sort of activity would not be tolerated for a second in any major corporation in Canada.

Furthermore, this is in clear violation of Respectful Workplace Policy, likely falling under “Harassment”.

If you think everything is fine at City Hall…, think again.

Jack Koochin (Grand Forks)

Opinion pieces and letters may not reflect the views of the Boundary Sentinel.