Letter received August 30, 2019. It took exactly 3 years to get here, many thanks to the landowners and media who stepped up..
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.
Thursday July 18, 2019 at 7pm UBID Board Meeting with a newly elected (April 20) majority composed of: Hein Vandenberg who was elected with a record breaking number of votes followed closely by Paul Healey. The third Trustee is myself, twice elected Trustee Susanna Kaljur.
The UBID Board has agreed to hire a ‘parliamentarian advisor’ to act as consultant to the Board, should we have any questions or need advice in implementing Robert’s Rules and our Meeting Procedures Bylaw 263. The consultant has no voting rights and will attend our Board Meetings.
It is with great pleasure to announce that our retired Area A Director Bruce Jolliffe has agreed to facilitate! Thank you. The new UBID majority is a Board committed to operating in a manner which protects the public interest.
A landowner forwarded this message they received from Ms. Catheine Lee of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs this morning..
“Once the new Board is in place and construction of the Water Treatment Plant has begun, the Ministry is prepared to support UBID and the CVRD working together to consider a governance review.” received by landowner June 6, 2019!
The Ministry has never said the Water Treatment Plant must be constructed and operational as the Chair stated last night at the AGM.
This is what multiple letters from the Ministry have actually stated:
- March 19, 2018 “..a vital step not yet completed – namely, getting construction of the water treatment plant well underway.” page 1
- “the practical window of opportunity for the CVRD to request a governance study opens following the October 2019 general local elections.” page 2 – Marijke Edmondson Director, Governance Structures
- May 6, 2019 “Once the new Board is up and running, the Ministry is prepared to support the efforts by UBID and the CVRD to work together to review governance. However it is important that the priority work of continuing construction of the water system plant continues.” Brent Mueller Director, Governance Relations (note: Several landowners received this letter due to multiple complaints about UBID governance)
Why lie about something which can be so easily disputed? Whose interest is being served when we are denied access to infrastructure grants and municipal financing 2% below prime?!
The expired UBID Board majority has posted the audited financial report(s), etc. on the Union Bay website. It is obvious the old Board does not want to answer landowner questions. Fine. Let’s move on..
The Inaugural Meeting was May 1 last year..The Inaugural Meeting can be scheduled anytime as the oath of office is simply a formality. Two duly and honorably elected Trustee’s (Healey and Vandenberg) are waiting to work on the building the water treatment plant and finding ways to access grants and cheaper financing for 4.2 million dollar plant! There is no time to waste.
Attorney General David Eby AG.Minister@gov.bc.ca
The old board has no right to postpone the AGM and more importantly delay the swearing in of two Trustees who won in a record landslide on April 20, 2019. This is obstruction of justice and electoral tampering, in my humble opinion, but I am not a lawyer. Attorney General David Eby should have the authority to intervene on behalf of us landowners as we 690 households can not afford to hire our own lawyer to ensure a functioning Board. Union Bay deserves better!
As of May 1, 2019 the UBID Board consist of Trustees: Rick Bitten, Susanna Kajur (re-elected 2017), Ted Haraldson (elected April 2018), Paul Healey and Hein Vandenberg (elected April 20, 2019). An excellent team let’s get busy!
Attorney General David Eby AG.Minister@gov.bc.ca
It is not our mess to clean up. Trustees Haraldson and Bitten and former trustees Loxam and Jacques have a responsibility to the landowners and the Provincial Government to hold the AGM by May 1.
Until then the UBID Board is composed of Haraldson, Bitten and Kaljur. Stay Home Tonight!
“The April 23, 2019 COW meeting, where the alleged ‘incident’ leading to cancellation of AGM, had only two sitting trustees present; Trustee Haraldson and myself, Susanna Kaljur. Trustee Rick Bitten was absent. Peter Jacques and Glenn Loxam were present, however they are no longer trustees as they were defeated on April 20, 2019. By rights the meeting with the financial auditor should have occurred before the election. Therefore Ted Haraldson, as only one of two trustees present, had no legal right to cancel either the April 23 COW/Auditor meeting or the April 25 AGM. I fully support Trustee Haraldson’s preference of having a professional Chair chair the AGM. The local governments Act states the AGM must occur before May 1.” This letter was sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs Selena Robinson, Ombudsperson, MLA Scott Fraser, UBID Board and others on April 24, 2019.
Here is Trustee Rick Bitten’s response to my letter: “Glen and peter and still elected trustees until the other candidates are sworn in. I believe that UBID should discuss charges with the RCMP. These planned disruptions are intenional (sic) and should be considered as that. I am embarrased by the landowners that create these problems. This behaviour would not be tollarated (sic) any where else why should we accept it. Trustee Rick Bitten”
This mess is brought to you by 5 men who flout the law. It is theirs to answer for and clean up.
In my opinion the Oath of Office must proceed and a new chair elected so we have a functioning board. The outgoing Board majority are responsible for the AGM not the 2 new trustees. Currently the UBID Board has only 3 sworn trustees: Haraldson, Bitten, Kaljur. The majority has swung because 2 Trustees can not make any decisions. Ergo they (Bitten, Haraldson) can not cancel meetings or do anything.
Hein Vandenberg and Paul Healey win with record numbers. Union Bay has a new Board with a clear focus: to ensure we have access to Infrastructure grants and municipal financing.