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

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Robert Barron column: Some motorcyclists a danger to themselves; and others

I would often bellyache over the mandatory helmet laws in Canada.

Celebrated sax-man P. J. Perry comes to Crofton Aug. 19

Enjoy the sounds of Canada’s king of bebop at Osborne Bay Pub

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Most Read