LETTER: Town not answering questions: Guthrie

LETTER: Town not answering questions: Guthrie

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(The following is correspondence delivered to Oliver Town Hall and the responses given in return.)

On Wednesday, Aug. 8 I received this email from Chief Administrative Officer Cathy Cowan.

“On behalf of Town, I would ask that you now put your request for information in writing to mayor and council and we will provide you with a written response. This will alleviate any miscommunication to the press going forward. We appreciate your interest in the community and thank you for your understanding of our request.”

Response to the questions that came out of this email from Cowan were as follows:

“We will not be answering your letter question by question as the mayor and administration recognizes that a number of these questions have been answered to you already in our previous meetings with you in person.”

This statement appears to fly in the face of the request that Cowan made and the intent of alleviating any misconceptions moving forward. Requiring me to recall what was said so many weeks ago does not lend itself to a process of preciseness. In your email I will respond by paragraph:

Paragraph #2

You say that the mayor and CAO informed me that Brenda Butterworth- Carr approved the local business case for two additional RCMP officers.

1. What is the status of this approval and or request?

2. What is the time line for the arrival of these officers, or is there one?

3. What specific actions have been taken with the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s office and Superintendent de Jager, relative to the statement below?

What I recall the mayor and CAO telling me was that there had been a promise from same and that the promise/approval had been in writing. I then requested a copy of that documentation on behalf of myself and Richard Cannings in an email and here is what I received back from Cowan:

“The mayor has passed along your request for a copy of correspondence between the Town and the RCMP deputy commissioner for response.”

“We did not receive written confirmation with respect to the increase in members; however, we were advised verbally by Superintendent de Jager as well as the RCMP Deputy Commissioner, Brenda Butterworth-Carr that the Oliver detachment was on the list to receive two additional members. MP Richard Canning is more than welcome to speak with the mayor should he wish to receive additional information with respect to this matter.”

“We appreciate your desire to assist in reducing crime in our community, and the Town is actively working on this issue with the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s office and Superintendent de Jager.  As the mayor  suggests, as a citizen of the community, your assistance as an active member of the Crime Watch group would definitely assist this worthwhile group in their desire to reduce the crime within the Oliver area.”

I hope you can understand the confusion on my part when it comes to getting conflicting information from the city regarding this issue. That said:

1. I have gone through the city’s strategic plan with respect to future plans for policing and enforcement. I found on page 13 of the annual report the following: Create a safe community for residents and businesses.

“With Oliver service partner in policing, the RCMP, the Town will develop a crime enforcement strategy to create a safe community for residents and businesses.”

2. This resembles a commitment to develop a plan with respect to crime prevention and enforcement. Has such a plan been developed and where could one get a copy?

Paragraph #4 – Cannabis revenue.

The question was not so much about the amount of revenue but what the city has in mind for those dollars when they begin to arrive. Once again, I am asking for a plan. It is my understanding that as of sometime in 2017 there was established a 75/25 split of the tax revenues; province/crown, respectively. With time running so short I would think that the Town of Oliver will have at least some idea what they will do with the funds if and when they actually become available?

Paragraph #5 – Bylaw

We are looking for the 2018 statistics concerning the bylaw activities; a call/service/response/action taken log if you will. The statistics you mentioned only pertain to action up until December 31, 2017 which clearly is not going to be pertinent to the discussion that we are now having.

Paragraph #7 – Crime Watch

I have indeed joined Crime Watch and undergone the training session. When will the city address the issues concerning the vehicle that is to be used for this service, particularly the insurance?

We have a charter right to “security” in this country. Why does the Town choose to ignore this?

Michael Guthrie, Oliver

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