Pedestrian Bridge yay, Behnsen issue unclear

By citizen applause for Behnsen, it appeared Behnsen’s approach is welcome among taxpayers.

Pedestrian Bridge yay, Behnsen issue unclear

I attended North Cowichan’s citizen-packed Nov. 27 meeting in council chambers and applaud councillors for rejecting the proposed $1.8-million York Road Pedestrian Bridge and Somenos Creek Project.

This wise decision saved us a huge amount of money, potential environmental damage, and possible issues dealing with homeless folks in the York Road area.

However, my applause didn’t apply when Mayor Jon Lefebure read, at the meeting’s outset, a sobering public statement concerning corrective measures taken against Coun. Joyce Behnsen for bullying and harassment of a municipal employee. The mayor told residents these allegations were apparently confirmed during a probe by an investigator. Sadly, privacy policies prevented the mayor from explaining the nature of said bullying and harassment.

I fully understand the staffer’s name must be withheld. However, council should and must concentrate on everything it can legally tell citizens about such serious issues. Basic facts missing include which municipal department was involved during the May to April bullying and harassment; what action, if any, was taken by council during that time; what corrective measures are now being taken against Coun. Behnsen; and why Behnsen did not apparently respond to the investigator’s findings. Without such context and background, it’s most difficult for citizens to fully understand what really happened and why. The cost of the investigation is also unknown.

To be clear, as a taxpayer I expect North Cowichan councillors to constantly ask staff, politely, for information about budgets, municipal project costs, and many other issues — and to bring residents’ concerns forward concerning how they are treated by municipal staff. Indeed, staff and councillors should welcome such communication. Councillors and staff who are not diligently cooperative, and receptive to taxpayer concerns, are seemingly not doing their job.

By citizen applause for Behnsen after the mayor read the municipality’s statement, it appeared Behnsen’s approach is welcome among taxpayers.

Peter W. Rusland

Duncan

Just Posted

MP Alistair MacGregor column: Electoral reform proposals come in at 11th hour

The timing is unfortunate because there are some positive elements in the bill.

Robert Barron column: Goodbye to the best man I’ve ever known

Mondays were special because my dad was off on those days

VIDEO: Young QMS cast shines in ‘Giants in the Sky’ musical

Kids find that sometimes being brave is good, but you still need supportive friends

Andrea Rondeau column: The internet has changed how we cover breaking news

If there’s ever anything you think we’ve missed, please feel free to contact us and let us know.

Sarah Simpson column: My history with bees

My dad is allergic to bees.

Trans Mountain pipeline: Is it worth the risk?

Concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tanker traffic on wildlife

B.C. to spent $181M to create 200 general practitioner jobs

Jobs will go to new medical school graduates

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

B.C. VIEWS: Our poverty reduction plan is already in place

NDP has another promise it needs to appear to keep

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Out of control wildfire prompts restriction around Allie Lake

One of the first large wildfires of the 2018 season is blazing out of control

Most Read