DID YOU KNOW?
Did You Know? - Number One: Community Connections
Did you know that no one in authority has ever said thank you to the Anmore Alternative News? In the Fall of 2008 the Anmore Alternative News was started to give residents reliable information to inform their decisions on the upcoming referendum and to provide an on-line platform for regular community news in Anmore. The Village website was over a year behind at the time and the Anmore Times did not have an on-line presence until six months later.
Since its beginnings, the Anmore Alternative has very quickly gained a large number of on-line readers. On December 22, 2011 there were 87,261 visitors to the AAN site and 238,712 page views since the beginning. The Village of Anmore has sent over 200 messages to residents for timely posting in the Anmore Alternative News. The Anmore Alternative does not charge for Community messages or advertising. It asks only that people give generously to community volunteer groups like Mossom Creek Hatchery, and the Scouts, when they have the chance.
The Anmore Times team is very clear that it is run by volunteers and has no political bias. It has been run by former Mayor Hal Weinberg's wife Linda, former Mayor Pam Blackman, current Councillor Tracy Green, and several others, including Council reporting by Mayor Anderson. It regularly receives an annual grant of $3500 from the Village of Anmore, has a similar income from advertising, and gets in-kind support from the Village staff. Based on the Village grant alone this is around $1.00 a copy you pay for the Anmore Times.
The Anmore Alternative News receives no Village grant, and although it applied for a small grant one fifth the size of the Anmore Times, this application was never acknowledged by the Village. Mayor Anderson, and Councillors Palmer-Isaak and McEwen, did however send a
mail drop to Village residents accusing the Founding Editor, Dr. Lynn Elen Burton, of bias because of her husband, former Councillor Mario Piamonte. She
Did You Know? - Number Two: The Anmore Alternative News gets its inspiration from local folk hero 'tell it straight' newspaper woman Margaret 'Ma' Lally Murray. The village Hall is in the Murray Homestead. To read a number of vignettes about Ms Lally Murray
Did You Know? - Number Three: The rule about election signs in Anmore
Did you know that on July 20, 2011, Mayor Anderson, supported by Councillors Isaak and McEwen rushed through the Anmore Elections Procedure By-law No. 515-2011 which included a provision for voting machines at the upcoming municipal election?
- Page 9, of the By-law under the title of Election Signs states: "26. Election signs for Village Elections and By-elections may not be erected
before the first day of the month in the year
of the Local General Election or By-election".
Did You Know? - Number Four
- Daycare Centre Interests
Did you know that on August 31, 2005 the Anmore Youth & Community Services Society was set up with five directors including Heather Anderson, Holly Butterfield, Nancy Knauer, Deborah Laidler and Holly Koit? The Business Plan for the Anmore Daycare Facility (November 2007) was used to generate the $499,500 grant from the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). It shows the 'Owner' of the Anmore Day Care Facility as the Village of Anmore, operated by the Anmore Youth and Community Services Non-Profit Society.
"(a) Business Structure: Not for Profit Society
(b) Owner: Village of Anmore operated by Anmore Youth and Community Services Non-Profit Society"
In the 2008 Anmore referendum voters rejected the following question by a 2-1 margin: "Are you in favour of the Village of Anmore adopting Anmore Day Care Facility/Community Centre Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 451-2008, which would authorize the borrowing of up to $1,263,000.00 to construct a Day Care Facility/Community Centre?"
While Mayor Anderson, aided by Councillors Isaak and McEwen, continued to try and establish a stand alone childcare centre on a rezoned Village lot near the Village Hall, Councillors Piamonte and Sedergreen were concerned about the potential short and long-term liabilities for Anmore identified in the contract with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD).
Six out of eight of the non-Council members of the Childcare Working Group did not advise building the stand alone childcare centre. Only Tracy Green and Glenda Treffly-Goatly wanted to proceed. Mayor Anderson
disbanded the Working Group without considering their recommendations and said that she would personally be handling further negotiations with the Ministry. Two months later Mayor Anderson said that there was insufficient money to move forward with a stand alone childcare centre and that she had asked staff to pursue discussions with School District 43.
July 12, 2011, a SD-43 delegation to the Anmore Regular Council Meeting announced that the contract with the MCFD was now the hands of School District 43 and not the taxpayers of Anmore. The plan is to have the Childcare Centre in the new Heritage Wood Middle School. SD-43 will be responsible for matching the MCFD grant contribution, and the 10 year commitment to pay back the grant if the Centre ceases to operate. As well, SD-43 will have a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process to select the operator.
Did You Know? - Number Five - Conflict of Interest?
Did you know that on July 13, 2010 Mayor Anderson allowed Councillors McEwen and Isaak to vote against the motion for an independent inquiry into the ending of the Anmore Renewable Energy Foundation although they were trustees when it failed owing over $60,000?
- Anmore Standing Committee on the Environment, Sept. 14, 2009,
“reported that Anmore’s Renewable Energy Foundation is no longer and other than discussions regarding what will happen with the solar panels, the project has concluded”. Since this information was from an in-camera meeting, a partial release of this information, including the resignations of Chairman Weinberg and trustees McEwen and Isaak, was subsequently made to the Public.
- When AREF ended it had received $220,000.00 of Federal and Provincial grant money and had not produced the required deliverables in return. In July 2008 the charitable status of
AREF was revoked. AREF still owes small contractor Elworthy Electric in excess of $40,000 and over $20,000 to Western Economic Diversification Canada.
Did You Know? - Number Six: No Bear Proofing provisions in the revised Garbage By-law
Did you know that Anmore Council had three readings of the Anmore Domestic Waste and Disposal Bylaw No. 514-2011 at the Regular Council Meeting on October 11, 2011? Mayor Anderson explained that a key objective of the by-law was to keep the garbage from wildlife, and bears in particular. However the only provision in this by-law that even remotely relates to bear-proofing is that residents will now be required to put garbage bags into regular garbage cans.
- Mayor Anderson indicated that mandatory Bear Proof garbage bins are not yet required in this proposed by-law but that they will be mandatory in the near future. Councillor Sedergreen reported that he had been informed about concerns about changes in the proposed by-law such as the lack of daylight hours for collection.
- Anmore Manager of Public Works, Tim Harris, indicated that Bear Proof and Green Waste disposal bins will be required in the near future. He said that the proposed 'garbage' by-law will need to be amended several times after it has been passed. He also said that the changed hours proposed in the by-law would not be a problem because they could either move to two days for pick-up or have two trucks.
- Councillor Sedergreen was concerned about the costs of these changes in service and he wanted to know why Council wasn't developing a coherent single by-law that would not require a number of amendments. Mayor Anderson indicated that this current by-law proposal would be no cost and that the current contractor is operating on a month-to-month basis. She also indicated that the draft by-law was on the Village website and if people had concerns about it they should have made them known.
- Mayor Anderson indicated that she wanted to have this by-law passed. Councillor Isaak put forward a motion to have three readings of the Anmore Domestic Waste and Disposal Bylaw, seconded by Councillor McEwen. This motion passed.
Did You Know? - Number Seven: The Brute Squad at work in Anmore
As candidate signs were knocked down and defaced during the last municipal election, did you know that there have been at least three recent police incident reports surrounding Anmore Municipal Council?
Incident One: After the Feb. 23, 2010 Anmore Council Meeting, Leah Weinberg and Tracy Green who tower over her, swarmed the 5' 2" founding editor of the Anmore Alternative News in the parking lot at the Village Hall. According to witness reports to the police, Ms. Weinberg pointed her finger in Dr. Burton's face and accused her of 'being a trouble maker', not publishing her submissions, and writing anonymous letters to the Anmore Times - all patently untrue. The most Dr. Burton could muster in response was, "Stop pointing your finger in my face, it has a nail in it." An RCMP incident file was started.
Incident Two: At the 9:30 am, Wednesday, July 20, 2011 Special Council meeting to pass the Anmore Elections Procedure By-law with only one resident in attendance, Councillor Piamonte accused Mayor Anderson of bullying Council when she cut off discussion and, with his point of order still on the table, passed the fourth reading of the by-law, with the support of Councillors McEwen and Isaak. For Tri-city News article by Todd Coyne after listening to the tape of the meeting
Click Here. The one Anmore resident in attendance at this unusually scheduled meeting said that the censure vote was completely unwarranted.
A few days later, Councillor Isaak made a police report. Councillor Piamonte had already apologized to Council members in an e-mail shortly after the meeting. The Councillor was subsequently censured by Mayor Anderson, and Councillors McEwen and Isaak for his actions during the meeting. Councillor McEwen, however was not censured for calling Councillors Sedergreen and Piamonte 'Dumb and Dumber' after the same meeting.
Incident Three: On November 3, 2011 after the All Candidates Meeting, in front of a number of witnesses, Mark Hancock, (Mayor Anderson's husband) both verbally and physically threatened Anmore lawyer, Council candidate Larry Barron. A police incident report was made.
Did You Know? - Number Eight - Siltation at Mossom Creek Hatchery
Did you know that sedimentation from the January 2009 Washout at Pinnacle Ridge severely damaged the developing salmon. The verbatim Regular Council Minutes of January 13, 2009 show the concerns of volunteers about the longstanding disregard of Anmore Council for the Hatchery. To read the Minutes
Did You Know? - Number Nine - Eligibility to run for Anmore Council
- If there are Sasamat Volunteer Firefighters considering running for Anmore Council in 2011, the Chief Elections Officer, Anmore Manager of Corporate Services, Karen-Ann Cobb, says they are not allowed. She
has contacted the people who have picked up candidate packages to tell them that the Village Solicitor has advised her that SVFD volunteers are not eligible to run.
- Below is pasted the content of the "Volunteer Eligibility for
Office Regulation" under the Local Government Act which was deposited on September 19th, 2011, [from
Deidre Wilson, Manager, Policy and Legislation, Local Government Policy and Reseach Branch, BC Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, received on October 4, 2011].
B.C. Reg. 165/2011 - O.C. 445/2011. Deposited September 19, 2011
Local Government Act - Volunteer Eligibility for Office Regulation
Prescribed class of persons excepted from "employee"
1 (1) For the purposes of section 67 [disqualification of
local government employees] of the Local Government Act, a
person who meets both of the following requirements is in a
prescribed class of persons that are not employees of a
municipality or regional district:
(a) the person provides volunteer services to a municipality or
(b) the person does not receive monetary compensation from a
municipality or regional district for the volunteer services
provided to the municipality or regional district.
(2) For certainty and without limiting this section, the
following does not constitute monetary compensation:
(a) reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred and
reimbursed that arise directly out of the performance of the
volunteer services for a municipality or regional district;
(b) the provision of insurance coverage, workers' compensation
coverage, personal clothing, equipment or training directly
related to the performance of the volunteer services for a
municipality or regional district.
(c) gifts in recognition of long service or exemplary service in
the provision of volunteer services to a municipality or
[Provisions relevant to the enactment of this regulation: Local
Government Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 323, sections 67 and 156]
- (E-mail to Ms. Wilson) Thank you so much. Just to be absolutely clear about which I speak, further to our conversation, I understand that this regulation means a volunteer firefighter who receives no pay for doing this can run for municipal office. The firefighter is permitted to receive expenses, training, insurance, etc. Correct? Dr. Lynn Burton (04-09-11)
- (Response from Ms. Wilson) That is right – they can run for office (as long as they are otherwise qualified – e.g., 18 years of age, a Canadian Citizen, etc). This regulation just clarifies that volunteers who don’t get paid for their volunteering are not considered employees -- if a person is an local government employee, they are disqualified from running for office. As long as the volunteer doesn’t receive any money compensation for the services he/she provide, the person is a volunteer. A volunteer can be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses that arise from their volunteering (e.g, gas) and can have clothing, equipment, training and insurance provided by (i.e. paid for by the local government) and that does not impact the person’s volunteer status.
- (Letter from Metro Vancouver Legal Dept., Ralph Hildebrand, Corporate Solicitor, Metro Vancouver, Legal Department
While I cannot give legal advice, I attach for your interest an article from a law firm specializing in municipal law. Opinion by Staples McDannold Stewart, Barristers & Solicitors
Note: The issue of the eligibility of Sasamat Volunteer firefighters to run for Anmore Council has NOW been solved. See the letter from the Chief Election Officer for Belcarra, Sarah Morden, below. Anmore Chief Election Officer, Karen Anne Cobb, has NOW informed people that Sasamat Volunteer Firefighters are eligible to run for council, reversing a previous decision. The DEADLINE to file your candidacy papers is Friday October 14, 2011. (09-10-11)
Thanks for your email. Since the Regulation was released last week, there have definitely been some differing opinions, even within the Ministry itself.
After careful review of the SVFD governance structure and remuneration policies/procedures, a consensus has now been reached in the Ministry that volunteer firefighters who serve with SVFD are eligible to run in the upcoming local election.
It has been confusing to say the least, but at least we now have a clear answer and agreement at the Provincial level.
Did You Know? - Number Ten - Eligibility to Stand for Municipal Election
- Did you know that double questions about candidate eligibility for municipal service come from the Village Anmore?
- The first issue was the last minute 2008 Election challenge of the eligibility of long-time Anmore Councillor Ken Juvik to run for mayor by incumbent mayor Weinberg. Mr. Juvik is a forester for Metro Vancouver. Although Mr. Juvik very publicly withdrew his candidacy it was too late to remove his name from the ballot. Mayor Weinberg won the election by fewer than 100 votes. To read the draft letter by Councillor Sedergreen which was approved by Anmore Council (Councillor McEwen opposed) to send to then Minister Kevin Krueger
- The second challenge was by Councillor McEwen over the eligibility of elected Councillor Piamonte to serve because he is a long-serving volunteer with the Sasamat Volunteer Fire Department and as such should be considered an employee of Metro Vancouver. This issue has been resolved. The Local Government Elections Task Force, May 2010 stated,
"volunteer firefighters should be treated as volunteers, not employees;volunteer firefighters are part of a limited pool of civic‐minded individuals in many small communities so they should be encouraged to run for office." (pg 45).
Did You Know? - Number Eleven. - Port Moody Recreation Fees
- Did you know that Mayor Anderson ran on a platform of trying to negotiate an acceptable arrangement with Port Moody on Recreation Fees? Residents of Anmore and Belcarra currently pay more than double the recreation fees of other people to use Port Moody Recreation facilities. (26-09-11)
The attached April 1, 2011 letter
from Mayor Joe Trasolini quotes the resolution by Port Moody Council "that given the absence of any meaningful progress, Port Moody's mayor write to Anmore's mayor advising that Council directed staff to discontinue pursuing this issue."