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.

The Jan. 17, 2019 UBID Board Meeting blocked landowners..

which resulted in several landowner protests and two newly elected Trustees. Our expensive Board training taught us that all Board meetings must be open to the public and proper notice be given to both Trustees and the landowners. On January 17, 2019 Public Board meeting was held in a secret location, no notice given to either Trustees or landowners and no Agenda was posted on UBID’s website. This is not my opinion it is a fact. How the January Board meeting was conducted is is a blatant violation of UBID’s Meeting Procedures Bylaw 263 which is legislation the Board must follow, otherwise any or all decisions made at an improperly held meeting(s) can be challenged in court. It is up to the newly elected Board majority to make things right.

Chair Healey wisely postpones approving Jan. 17 minutes

The Chair is following up on the assumption, made by JB Consulting, that the ‘meeting was conducted following procedure’. It was not. No Agenda for the January 17, 2019 UBID Public Board Meeting was posted on UBID’s Website, ever. The public was literally locked out as the Board met in a secret location in Courtenay! The local media reported on this after multiple efforts to contact then Chair Haraldson. Remember we were a community in the midst of its first ever boil water notice! The excellent reporting tells the sad tale. https://www.mycomoxvalleynow.com/49092/union-bay-boil-water-notice-not-ending-anytime-soon-2/ The article published Jan. 24, 2019 refers to the absence of Notice and the Public in the last paragraph:

Haraldson also indicated that the trustee board’s latest public meeting video and agenda will be released in the next few days, though he couldn’t say exactly when.

The meeting [Jan. 17] had been closed to the public over concerns of heckling, and then moved to Courtenay without notice, due to fears of disruption.

The Chair does have the right to ask a disruptive member to be quiet and if that person ignores the Chair, they may be asked to leave that particular meeting. The Chair does not have the right to prevent any landowners’ or Trustees’ from attending Board meetings indefinitely.