The Chair Listens!

All Agenda items (except one) were removed from ‘In Camera’. Bravo Chair Healey! The only glaring omission was the lack of a video camera, again.

According to Bylaw 270 Video Recording states; “Public meetings of the Board will only be recorded by UBID and posted on the Website.” Furthermore, a Committee of the Whole (COW)Meeting is a public meeting by definition according to our Meeting Procedures Bylaw 263 which we are legally mandated to follow.

The real question is: why has the Administor chosen to be absent from Board Meetings ever since two new Trustees were elected on April 20, 2019?? All the Trustees successfully completed their Board training (a $16,000 bill for UBID Landowners). The claims of “safety concerns” are without any proof or evidence. Why does UBID pay a separate person to switch our video camera on and off?!

Solution: Hire a separate person to attend Board Meetings, take minutes and write the minutes, turn the camera on and off. Whatever the cost is for this service, which is a vital part of a functioning board, is then deducted from our current Administrators salary. Now that would make Sen$e!

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Agenda Violates FOIPPA

Here are the Sept. 12, 2019 UBID COW meeting Agenda missing Agenda items: 3. FOIPPA officer, 4. Approval of Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief contracts, 5. Approval of Capital Expenditure for Fire Department… 6. RBC Loan Discussion, 7. Review policy 1- B – 01 (Code of Conduct).

None of these items are “In Camera” and FOIPPA Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act [RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 165 specifically states; “The head of a public body must not refuse to disclose (a) any factual material, ..AND, (4.) A disclosure of personal information is not an unreasonable invasion of a third party’s personal privacy if (e) the information is about the third party’s position, functions or remuneration as an officer, employee or member of a public body”.. http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/96165_00 (Go to Division 2 – Exceptions)

It is evident the Board and staff need training in FOIPPA, sooner than later. The August 30, 2019 letter from the Ministry made clear that UBID has failed in its communication with the landowners and this recent Agenda is, unfortunately, a continuation of UBID following improper procedure.

Unilateral Decisions Defy Democracy

In January 2019 UBID Chair Ted Haraldson unilaterally made the following decisions: To close all UBID Board Meetings to the Public, except the Annual General Meeting, and To change the election date for Two Trustee Positions, (knowing the majority could shift in favour of conversion to CVRD, and it did.) to be held BEFORE the AGM!! Think about it. The public (and one illegally suspended Trustee) were all locked out!

Media reports on Jan. 18, 2019 Chair Haraldson states: “The only public meeting is going to be the AGM (annual general meeting) in April, and that is one that everyone will attend, and people will be able to speak, and all the rest. That is going to happen for sure.” The AGM, originally scheduled and voted on by the Board, was scheduled for Thurs. April 11 and the election day on Sat. April 13, well before Easter. Yet in January 2019 at a secret meeting, the election dates and the AGM were unilaterally changed. The public and 1 trustee (Kaljur) was excluded.

The new dates placed AGM after the election on Thursday April 25 and election date changed to Saturday April 20th, the middle of the 4 day Easter Long weekend!! Chair Haraldson goes on to state: He added that Union Bay’s upcoming trustee election would be moved to take place a week before the AGM, with the new trustees to be introduced at that gathering.

Hold on a minute! This meant the landowners had to vote for two Trustees BEFORE they had access to vital public financial information such as; in March 2019, at yet another secret meeting, the UBID Board took out a loan with RBC for 3.5 MILLION DOLLARS at 3.49% interest rate. This information was not disclosed to the public until the August 15, 2019 UBID Board Meeting. As a landowner I am outraged at the apparent disregard of our legislated Meeting Procedure Bylaw 263. The Local Government Act states clearly meetings must be open to the public and information be shared with landowners in a timely and accurate manner.

Media Reports on January 18, 2019

UNION BAY, B.C- Ted Haraldson will be keeping the doors closed.

That’s what’s been indicated by Haraldson, who is currently serving as the chair of the Union Bay Improvement District trustee board. The board functions as the local government for Union Bay, with a focus on water service.

As of January 11th, 2019, the public meetings of Union Bay’s government have been closed to the public. The reason for the decision was said to be heckling at board meetings.

Trustee Susanna Kaljur, who often opposed the rest of the trustee board, was suspended a few days later.

The latest board meeting was scheduled to be held at the Union Bay community hall on Thursday evening, and it was later moved without notice to Courtenay. According to Haraldson, who spoke with the MyComoxValleyNow.com newsroom on Friday, it was held at a “secure location”.

He stated that the board suspected there may have been problems, had the meeting been held as scheduled in Union Bay.

“Hopefully, this won’t be happening again, and again these meetings are closed to the public,” said Haraldson.

“The only public meeting is going to be the AGM (annual general meeting) in April, and that is one that everyone will attend, and people will be able to speak, and all the rest. That is going to happen for sure.”

Haraldson stated that a video recording of the Courtenay meeting will be going up on the Union Bay website within “the next couple of days”, and indicated the meeting’s agenda would also be released at the same time.

He added that Union Bay’s upcoming trustee election would be moved to take place a week before the AGM, with the new trustees to be introduced at that gathering.

As for whether or not the rest of the board’s public meetings (which are barred to the public) will be held in Union Bay, Haraldson indicated that would be the case.

He figured people needed time to “calm down”, and stated he wasn’t comfortable with the move in the first place. However, he maintained it was “done for a reason”.

Asked what would happen if people didn’t “calm down”, he did not have an exact answer.

“I’m hoping that there is no violence in the workplace, and harassment, and cyber bullying calms down, to where people become civilised, and to go to a meeting, without having to have this thing occur,” said Haraldson.

He still maintains the AGM will be open to all, and said he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“During the AGM, people will be able to speak,” said Haraldson.

“Entering the AGM, there will be a sergeant at arms present. If there are any problems, whatsoever, those individuals will be removed. Otherwise, an AGM is a public meeting, and that is open to the public.”

Haraldson also believes he has the support of Union Bay landowners.

“Many people tell me that,” he said.