True to form, the gutless wonders not only decided to close the meeting to the public – they met at a secret location.
What are they hiding from? They have had closed meetings to the public before but they were never held at some secret location where no one can see who is attending. We have no idea who was allowed in this secret meeting. What venue did they use for this secret meeting?
Just another example of a group of individuals who encourage each other believing they have unlimited powers as elected officials. Patting each other on the back and telling each other how smart they are.
Lots of information on Kaljur’s blog, including what happened the last time an undemocratic board locked out the electorate in January 2011. This is what happens when you don’t pay attention to the past. https://unionbay.news.blog
I hope these goofs have gone too far this time. Their moronic version of Robert’s Rules and how a meeting should be run is just bizarre. https://robertsrules.org
The Union Bay Improvement District board has voted to suspend trustee Susanna Kaljur for an indefinite period of time.
Board chair Ted Haraldson — whose motion for her suspension was supported by trustees Glenn Loxam, Rick Bitten and Peter Jacques — says Kaljur has been disrespectful, and has not followed agendas or subjects at hand at meetings. He notes she has criticized the board for not following Robert’s Rules of Order — of which Haraldson claims Kaljur is guilty.
“Your actions are deliberate and planned, and several landowners in the audience get involved and support this behaviour,” Haraldson states in a letter to Kaljur. He could not be reached for comment. “These actions can be seen very clearly on our video tapes of our last two public meetings.”
Kaljur, however, says she’s the one being bullied and harassed. Last fall, she claims she was twice removed from board meetings for trying to ask a question or making a correction.
“At both of those meetings, I am given permission to speak by the chair, yet as soon as I begin to state my question or concern I am pounced upon by multiple trustees,” she said, noting multiple interruptions should be ruled ‘out of order’. “This is a blatant violation of Robert’s Rules of Order. The chair’s role is to ensure that every trustee has a chance to speak without interruption by other trustees.”
Haraldson also criticizes Kaljur and a small group of landowners for creating a hostile environment that could lead to violence.
He also accuses her of cyber bullying, saying Kaljur created a blog to openly discuss UBID actions without authorization from the chair. Haraldson says a Dec. 18 blog attacks public works superintendent Dan McGill, questioning his competency about past turbidity readings and unreported boil water notices.
“These unfounded accusations can create a liability and public safety concern to UBID, and is unacceptable treatment of our employees,” Haraldson writes.
Kaljur said she initiated her blog to bring forward matters of public interest — notably water quality and treatment plant financing — to ensure landowners have information to make informed decisions.
“I have made it very clear on my blog that I am not speaking on behalf of the board, nor have I disparaged any staff person or board member at any time,” Kaljur said. “My focus has always been about policy, decisions and actions which appear contrary to the best interest of the public and landowners.”
She notes board meetings are not open to the public until the April 11 AGM.
“This is unacceptable in my opinion and contrary to local government procedure,” Kaljur said.
The UBID website notes an increasing number of hecklers had been disrupting meetings.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, which oversees local governing bodies in B.C., says legislation covering improvement districts does not include specific provisions regarding suspensions of trustees.
A ministry statement reads: “Any situation involving the rights and responsibilities of individuals needs to be handled with careful attention to fairness to all sides; for example, a local body seeking to publicly rebuke and sanction an elected official for inappropriate behaviour would be encouraged to seek legal advice regarding its process.”
The ministry said it continues to support UBID staff with “information regarding best practices for the conduct of board meetings and other procedural matters.”
So who is dozy taking instructions from? He admitted at the Nov. 15, 2018 meeting that he couldn’t suspend Trustee Kaljur – so what changed? Who told him to do it? He can’t remember what’s happening from one minute to the next at meetings. How long did it take him to find the first page of the minutes at the Nov. 15 meeting? Too long. You can imagine how foggy previous meeting decisions are for him to recall.
Here’s a clip of the genius stating he can’t suspend Trustee Kaljur.
From the guy who campaigned encouraging landowners to ask questions and demand answers. From the guy who has spouted bullshit about how funds raised in Union Bay would be distributed throughout the CVRD if we became a service area. From the guy who believes all our problems would be solved if we became a municipality. This guy is so unfit to be on any board!
I received the following comment from an individual who attended years of monthly UBID meetings and offers this rebuttal to the Chair’s bullshit statement that: “All UBID staff (CAO, Deputy CAO, Public Works Superintendent, and Fire Chief) has stated very clearly that they will not attend our public meetings as it is a very uncontrolled and hostile environment and could lead to violence.”
These guys just make shit up.
OPINION HI Mary, you are absolutely correct, I have not seen the fire chief, Public works superintendent or any other UBID employee attend a board meeting, ever. When the fire chief’s shift ends he retires to his lazy boy in Comox or Courtenay or where ever he lives and has no interest in Union Bay politics. For Ted Trump to say they don’t attend due to an uncontrolled and hostile environment which could lead to violence is utter b—ls—t. B
You just can’t make this shit up. Thanks to James Wood of the Goat Radio who is always on top of the news. Not a bloody word of it on the useless UBID website.
“He ended by mentioning vandalism of a Boil Water notice on Friday in Union Bay as an example of a divisive mentality in the community, though he did not blame Kaljur for the vandalism.” It’s not the division in the community – it’s because there are assholes in this hillbilly community who think they can damage property not their own. My home was attacked in Jan. 2017 by some of these assholes. That’s the way they have been raised – ignorant hillbillies.
Only in Union Bay. Love the North Korea reference – fitting.
UNION BAY SUSPENDS TRUSTEE SUSANNA KALJUR INDEFINITELY
UNION BAY, B.C- Union Bay is down an elected official.
According to a letter sent by Union Bay Improvement District (UBID) board chair Ted Haraldson to trustee Susanna Kaljur on January 14th, Kaljur has been indefinitely suspended from her position as a trustee.
Kaljur has often been in conflict with the trustee board, with multiple requests for reports on the district’s water system turbidity during recent public meetings. Those requests end up sparking arguments, which ended in Kaljur being ejected from the last UBID meeting in November and threats to call the police.
Included in the letter is a paragraph that states all UBID staff has declined to attend the board’s public meetings, due to an “uncontrolled and hostile” environment, which could lead to violence.
Haraldson’s letter blames Kaljur and a small group of landowners that support her for that environment.
The letter also takes issue with a blog Kaljur launched that comments on Union Bay affairs, including decisions taken by the board, which go against the trustee code of conduct.
Haraldson wrote that the information on the blog is not sanctioned by him, and that the blog was created to “bypass the information stream” of the district.
Haraldson also takes issue with a post made on December 18th of last year on turbidity readings and the district’s past practices, stating that it attacks the district’s Public Works superintendent.
“As a trustee making these statements in a public blog about our employee is certainly Cyber bullying,” wrote Haraldson.
“These unfounded allegations can create a liability and public safety concerns to UBID, and is unacceptable treatment of our employees.”
The letter ends by stating Haraldson called for a vote during the January 10th Committee of the Whole meeting of the UBID board, asking for the “immediate and indefinite suspension” of Kaljur.
Trustee’s Peter Jacques, Rod Bitten, and Glenn Loxam voted in support of the move, without opposition.
In a written statement to the MyComoxValleyNow.com newsroom, Kaljur indicated that she was not aware of the meeting where the motion was passed.
“I have not posted anything defamatory or disparaging of staff on my blog, only the facts,” wrote Kaljur.
“I also have not been sent the board meeting minutes, reports etc. in preparation for the Jan. 17th meeting as per procedure. These are false accusations for political reasons, they just want to shut me up.”
Citing the provincial handbook for improvement district trustees, Kaljur also stated she hadn’t been speaking on behalf of the board in her blog, with a focus on drinking water and finances.
“I am voicing my own opinion based on my personal experience of working with this Board using facts and evidence,” wrote Kaljur.
“Given that I am unable to speak at board meetings (as you have witnessed) therefore, in the public interest, I started my blog. Only in Union Bay (and North Korea) can you be condemned in absentia without facts or evidence. I will be forwarding this to the ministry (Municipal Affairs) and ombuds (Ombudsman) office but I do not have any hope that something will be done.”
Reached for comment, Haraldson re-stated that the move was made due to Kaljur’s actions with her blog, and also touched on the safety concerns mentioned in the letter.
“When she (Kaljur) turns around and puts out false accusations, on a blog or whatever, and brings up turbidity and tells people to boil their water when it’s not necessary and all the rest of it, that is an issue that goes against the engineer, who has the only ability and the credentials to test water and determine that there is a boil water need, or not,” said Haraldson.
“She’s endangering the public by doing something like that, that’s terrible.”
Haraldson also said records had been released that dealt with Kaljur’s request for a turbidity report, while stating that there hadn’t been issues with turbidity in Union Bay prior to August of 2018.
The board passed a motion asking for a report on past turbidity practices back on June 21st, 2018.
That motion can be seen via the following link, halfway through the meeting.
That motion does not appear to be recorded in the UBID minutes from that meeting.
“There wasn’t an issue when it was above one (NTU) before August because it was on the old system,” said Haraldson.
“It was when Vancouver Island Health changed the rules for Vancouver Island, and dropped the NTU’s from three to one, that the new testing had to come out, and that’s what made the change. That’s one of the reasons we’re on a notice right now, is because the turbidity is above one.”
As for how the disagreement could be resolved between Kaljur and the board, he said he hoped it could be changed in the future, but it couldn’t be changed now.
“What I would like her to do is to turn around, and follow the agenda of a meeting,” said Haraldson.
“And to turn around and be part of the trustees, and work out the jobs that we need to work on, as a trustee, not to turn around and create a blog, and do cyber-bullying, and cause problems that are unwarranted.”
He would have to talk to the rest of the trustees to see what would could be done, and stated that removing the blog “might only be part of it”, and that the decision to suspend her was not solely his.
“I’m just following through,” said Haraldson.
“I can’t turn around, without the board’s approval, to the reason for her to come back and when. But at this moment, she is suspended, and that’s gone off to Victoria to the ministry as well. It’s rare that this happens, and I wish that it wouldn’t happen, I really do. I would wish her to be with us, and to work with us, to get the jobs done that are necessary.”
He did not state who had made the original motion to suspend Kaljur, due to the meeting being closed to the public. He also believed that trustees had a right to question the board.
“She can state whatever she likes, but if she wishes to be on the board, then she has to follow the rules of all trustees, including myself,” said Haraldson.
As for how comfortable he was with the suspension of a trustee behind closed doors, Haraldson replied by saying Union Bay had had issues for a long time.
“Union Bay has had it’s problems, with it’s boards, for a number of years,” said Haraldson.
“The only way that you’re going to rectify this, straighten it out, is turn around and you have to start using the bylaws, using the rules, and following them. If the rules aren’t followed, then that’s what you have, you have a problem.”
He stated that Kaljur would not be participating in any meetings while suspended, and indicated that the Annual General Meeting in April will be the next meeting where the public will be allowed to attend.
Elections for new trustees will be coming at that same time, and Haraldson said the absence of Kaljur will not cause any quorum issues before those elections.
“It is what it is,” said Haraldson.
“It is something I definitely did not want to do, but I was put back into a corner where I had no choice. I had no choice but to suspend her.”
He ended by mentioning vandalism of a Boil Water notice on Friday in Union Bay as an example of a divisive mentality in the community, though he did not blame Kaljur for the vandalism.
“This type of mentality, this is what it creates,” said Haraldson.
“All of a sudden, you have someone, whoever that may be, deciding they’re going to go an destroy a piece of public property, that’s there for the safety of the public. That’s how bad it has got. You can quote me on that, I think that is very disappointing.”
He also indicated that the agenda for the public board meeting on January 17th, 2019, which is barred to the public, will not be made available on the UBID website, because the public is not allowed to attend.
“If you think I wanted to do this (suspend Kaljur), the answer is no, I absolutely did not want to have to do this,” said Haraldson.
A request for comment was sent to the province’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs. The response has been included below in full.
“As elected officials, Union Bay Improvement District’s trustees are accountable to their community for their collective decisions and individual conduct while in office.
While elected officials may at times disagree, maintaining a safe and healthy workplace with a collegial atmosphere that encourages respectful debate is crucial to the success and well-being of any public body and its staff. Any situation involving the rights and responsibilities of individuals needs to be handled with careful attention to fairness to all sides — for example, a local body seeking to publically rebuke and sanction an elected official for inappropriate behaviour would be encouraged to seek legal advice regarding its process.
Legislation covering improvement districts does not include specific provisions regarding suspensions of Improvement District trustees.
The ministry recognizes the authority and responsibilities of the Union Bay Improvement District as a directly elected local body and continues to support UBID staff with information regarding best practices for the conduct of board meetings and other procedural matters.”
The ministry also stated they were not consulted by UBID prior to Kaljur’s suspension.
Trustee Kaljur should tell them to take a hike. This ‘suspension’ is bullshit. Under what bylaw/statute/rule are they basing this so called ‘suspension’. Just like everything else they do – just make up rules and vote believing they can do whatever they want as long as they vote.
Did you notice this gutless board had a Committee of the Whole meeting Jan. 10, 2019, and didn’t advise Trustee Kaljur of the meeting? They intentionally did not inform her to allow her the opportunity to address the allegations in person and have it recorded in the minutes. No, the gutless wonders are terrified of this woman and didn’t have the backbone to face her.
They cherry pick what rules they abide by. The Administrator, who is supposed to be objective, obviously took part in keeping information from a duly elected official by not providing information that is sent to all other trustees. Again, this Administrator has proven to be unqualified for the position. How many times has he kept information from Kaljur that was sent to all the other trustees? The job isn’t to be a flunky to certain board members.
According to them, everyone at UBID including the Fire Chief will not attend public meetings because “…it is a very uncontrolled and hostile environment and could lead to violence”. I want this claim verified by those mentioned – I call bullshit on this. The only harassment has been dished out by some of these spineless men and their spouses.
How about the complaint from the landowner who was harassed by Bitten after the last AGM in 2018? How about Bitten, Haraldson, Jednorog at the All Candidates meeting disrupting, pushing and shoving landowners?
These idiots think asking questions is harassment. They get insulted if you challenge them on their information or request information.
They are unfit because they simply cannot treat everyone equally. They have always acted as though they only represent those who voted for them – the rest of us are treated like shit.