October 30, 2015 - 2:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - Using several expletives in emails to staff and council has put Coun. Donovan Cavers in hot water, and some fellow councillors are calling the incident an isolated incident while others say he was 'immature and reckless.'
Documents obtained by Radio NL during a freedom of information request show Cavers using inappropriate language in an email directed to Chief Administrative Officer David Trawin. Mayor Peter Milobar responded to the email, calling Cavers’ remarks 'beyond unprofessional.'
Coun. Arjun Singh, who at the time called for Cavers’ censure, now gives his colleague a pass.
“That was upsetting at the time, (but) treat it as an isolated incident and move forward,” he says.
Cavers feels a fellow councillor tipped the media off to his email exchange with Trawin. Singh says he was not the one to tip off the media, nor does he know who did.
“Donovan wears his heart on his sleeve. It was troubling, but he's apologized and time will ultimately tell. I have faith he will get things back on a good track,” Singh says.
Coun. Ken Christian has less sympathy for Cavers, saying his colleague over stepped his bounds.
“It's inappropriate in the extreme, immature and reckless,” Christian says of Cavers’ email to Trawin.
Christian is very upset the councillor would call a senior city official’s integrity into question.
“To suggest that the CAO is conflicted and that he should move… you can’t play around with things like these,” Christian says, adding, however, “There are very few controls that you can put on elected officials.”
At the same time, Christian would like Kamloopsians to know this sort of thing is not common at City Hall, in fact, he says he’s never witnessed this type of behaviour in all of his years in municipal politics.
Coun. Tina Lange does not agree with Cavers’ actions either, but feels they are a product of passion and youth.
“Donovan is an excellent city councillor, he is bright and extremely hard working… but he lets his emotions get carried away,” Lange says, adding she feels the email was 'frustration speaking.'
She admits he shouldn’t have said what he did, but she also doesn’t think he should have been called out so publically for his actions.
“I’m disappointed Radio NL would FOI,” Lange says, wondering how much time and staff labour went into collecting the mass of correspondence for the freedom of information request.
Lange, after all her years in municipal politics, says she hopes that Cavers will learn what she has.
“This is a very frustrating job. Sometimes you feel like you’re banging your head against the wall; sometimes you feel very ineffective,” she says. “You’ve got to work within the system.”
THE EXCHANGE THAT NEARLY CENSURED CAVERS
Cavers admittedly sent a frustrated email the last days of August to Public Works Director Jen Fretz and Chief Administrative Officer David Trawin. In the email Cavers questioned the city’s choice to hire SLR consulting to review the proposed Ajax Mine, but also baits Trawin personally, questioning his stock options and choice of residence:
"I know (because I've seen the annual director financial disclosures) that your investments are "heavily weighted" toward funds that are into oil, gas, coal, etc.
“At least live up in Aberdeen near the mine site so that probably balances off your investment choices."
Mayor Peter Milobar responded to Cavers’ email threatening reprimand, saying the councillor is 'continually treading a fine line.'
“I would point out that other cities’ Councils have had to wind up putting members under censure and I would frankly not be opposed to looking into this if these types of comments and e-mail tones continue.”
Cavers' response continuted along that 'fine line.'
"Fuck professionalism when it come to an OPEN PIT MINE IMMEDIATELY BESIDE PACIFIC WAY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!!!"
To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at email@example.com or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015