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LETTER: Fumigation at city hall

It is spring after all, that time of year when winter’s fermenting manure piles start letting off steam. One is forever amazed at the accumulations in the bull pen.

And so, after a winter of ruminations at Grand Forks City Hall, we are finally getting the first wisps of the Chief Administrative Officer Doug Allin emanations (p.11, GF Gazette 25-03-15).

Thanks to a Freedom of Information request by some diligent citizen the numbers are finally in on Mr. Allin’s fall dismissal and winter re-hire. The ambiguity however remains. The numbers for a town our size are exorbitant…especially in light of the City backing out of the lease on a property serving the disadvantaged of our community (p.1, GF Gazette 25-03-15).

What are a measly $133,000 here or $115,000 there? This is the place where we in 2014 blew 1.3 million dollars on water metering gizmos and where City Hall is now looking at increasing residential tax rates by 20% over the next four years. Go team go, and if we run the town into bankruptcy, so what, we can then privatize the entire works. Our highly paid talking heads have got us covered, in theory.

There is a connecting thread to all of this and I see it in councilors Neil Krog and Michael Wirschagin who sat on all the hire, fire and re-hire “in camera” meetings of the old and new councils of Grand Forks concerning Allin. The fire with benefits motion of November 2014 was unanimous with the old council, they both supported. Did both of them or one of them bring forth the motion to re-hire Allin in 2015?

From my perspective Krog and Wirschagin have some explaining to do…or are they hoping we’ll have forgotten all of this by the next election? It’s all very fine to use the “in camera” excuse to remain silent but this situation appears more and more like a case for a forensic audit by the Attorney General’s Office of BC.

Needless to say I am quite befuddled by those new members of council who supported the return of Allin. The page has yet to be turned on this topic.

Donald Pharand

Grand Forks