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Kamloops Mayor Secret Recording Sparks Council Controversy



Kamloops Mayor Secret Recording Sparks Council Controversy

Kamloops Mayor Secret Recording Sparks Council Controversy. Kamloops Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson found himself at the center of a contentious situation during a recent council meeting in Kamloops. The mayor secretly recorded a conversation he had with the city’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and made multiple attempts to have the transcript of this call read aloud during the meeting. This incident unfolded amidst discussions concerning the future of the Noble Creek Irrigation System, a vital water source for Westsyde farms facing erosion-related challenges. Check Your Application Status now.

The Noble Creek Irrigation System Issue

The primary focus of the council meeting was addressing the predicament of the Noble Creek Irrigation System. This crucial system, which has served Westsyde farms for decades, now faces a significant threat due to erosion along the North Thompson riverbanks. Frustration had been mounting among dozens of Noble Creek users who felt that the city had not effectively communicated or taken appropriate actions to resolve the issue.

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The Mayor Attempt to Address the Situation

During the council meeting, Mayor Hamer-Jackson initiated an unexpected turn of events. In the public inquiries section of the agenda, he handed a statement to a resident, asking them to present it at the podium. The mayor expressed a sense of responsibility for the ongoing tensions and decision-making related to the irrigation system. He revealed that he had initially received a request from a citizen to meet with Noble Creek users, following which he had contacted CAO David Trawin.

Hamer-Jackson shared that he had assured Noble Creek users that they would be supported for the current year and that collaborative efforts were underway to find sustainable solutions, all based on guidance from CAO Trawin. To underscore his concerns about potential legal repercussions for the city, he attempted to have the transcript of his conversation with Trawin read aloud.


Objections Raised

The city’s corporate officer, Maria Mazzotta, interjected, cautioning against the mayor’s actions. She stressed that the public inquiries portion of the meeting was designed for citizens to voice their concerns directly and that council members had ample opportunities to speak. She also pointed out that the mayor’s involvement in presenting a public inquiry could create a conflict of interest.

When asked if she would read the statement, Mazzotta declined, deeming it inappropriate. The resident who had received the transcript expressed uncertainty about its relevance, as he had not had the opportunity to review it thoroughly. Mazzotta reiterated her concerns about the situation.

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Mayor Persistence and Council Response

Despite the objections raised, Mayor Hamer-Jackson persisted and offered to read the statement himself later in the meeting. He began by seeking further information about past council decisions regarding the irrigation system before discussing the phone call with Trawin.

However, his attempts were met with opposition from Coun. Mike O’Reilly, who called for the adjournment of this portion of the meeting until the authenticity of the transcript could be verified and legal guidance obtained. Mazzotta also inquired whether CAO Trawin had been informed that he was being recorded, to which the mayor responded negatively. This further fueled concerns about the transcript’s use.

Aftermath and Mayor Explanation

Mayor Hamer-Jackson offered an explanation after the meeting, clarifying that his wife had recorded the conversation with CAO Trawin while he was in his vehicle. He explained that his wife occasionally took notes for him during phone calls, and he had not realized she was recording this specific conversation. The mayor stated that the conversation in question revolved around assurances to Noble Creek users for the current year and subsequent developments regarding protective measures.

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The mayor denied any intention to publicly embarrass the CAO and defended his choice to present a transcript instead of summarizing the lengthy conversation, citing a desire for accuracy and transparency. When asked for a copy of the transcript, he declined, asserting that he had provided a verbal summary during the meeting.

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