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Kamloops Daily News building to remain standing following council confusion

December 15, 2015 - 6:24 PM

COUNCILLOR FACES OFF AGAINST MAYOR IN HEATED DEBATE

KAMLOOPS - What started as routine approval for capital projects at a regular Kamloops city council meeting today turned into confusion, then anger as one councillor made his discontent known to all in chambers.

Councillors were discussing the fate of the former Kamloops Daily News building during capital project budget discussions today, Dec. 15. The building was originally set to be demolished but plans were put on hold until after the proposed performing arts centre referendum. If the referendum had passed, the building would have been the site of the arts centre.

Staff included the $1-million demolition in the 2016 capital projects budget. While every other item in the budget was passed — from bridge repairs to floor replacement in civic buildings — council elected to deal with the demolition of the building on Seymour Street as a separate issue.

Coun. Denis Walsh suggested they table the issue for a year to which four of his fellow councillors – Donovan Cavers, Arjun Singh, Tina Lange and Dieter Dudy – supported.

After a short break in proceedings, Milobar brought up the issue again. He was concerned Walsh and his fellow councillors were confused as to what ‘tabling’ really intended. He explained tabling meant there is no discussion allowed and there would be no staff time or community groups dedicated to researching alternative uses for the building. Tabling would mean demolition was simply delayed for a year.

What followed was several minutes of mass confusion, multiple questions of staff around rules and procedure, and attempts to change what had been done. Walsh tried to rescind his tabling motion but a council vote defeated his attempt to take back the decision.

Following the council meeting, Walsh confronted staff arguing what transpired was not what he intended to happen.

Chief Administrative Officer David Trawin explained to Walsh had he not specifically tabled, but instead asked for demolition to be stalled, there would be room to discuss alternative uses for the building. Walsh then got into a heated discussion with Milobar and then Walsh walked out of the room.

Milobar said it was not up to him decipher the intentions of every councillor or every motion passed. He said with the exception of Dudy, every councillor has served at least four years and should know the rules of procedure.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at dreynolds@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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