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Union Bay hires consultant to figure out their “next steps”

UNION BAY, B.C- New trustees for Union Bay likely won’t be seated until the middle of the summer.

After last months’s election, in which Paul Healey and Hein Vandenberg were elected to the two empty seats on the Union Bay Improvement District trustee board, neither of them have been sworn in and the district has yet to hold it’s annual general meeting (AGM).

The reason for that chain of events can be found here:

It has also been confirmed by board chair Ted Haraldson that the two trustees who would have vacated their seats, Peter Jacques and Glenn Loxam, remain on the trustee board.

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The provincial municipal affairs department echoed Haraldson, re-iterating that both Jacques and Loxam will remain on the board until the holding of an AGM.

Defeated, resigned Union Bay trustees will stay until new ones sworn in: Municipal Affairs

As of this publication, a new date for the annual general meeting has not been announced. However, according to trustee-elect Paul Healey, Union Bay has hired a consultant to “facilitate steps going forward”, and help them through the transition period.

Healey said that consultant is from JB Consultants, a company that appears to specialize in municipal governance, according to their website.

“Right now, we’re hoping he’ll be able to provide some guidelines for the duties of the (existing, unchanged) board, what they can do, while they’re in the transition period,” said Healey.

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Speaking on Friday, Healey indicated that he didn’t know how much it had cost to hire the consultant, and he had been informed about that decision on Thursday evening via email. He also did not know if the decision to hire the consultant had been voted on by the current board.

“The chairman of the board is still the chairman of the board, and unfortunately, until we have a meeting and appoint a new chairperson, he makes the calls,” said Healey.

He had hoped to see the issues in Union Bay resolved internally.

“Until we get sworn in, we’re at the mercy of the people who are there right now,” said Healey.

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The consultant was set to start their work today, according to Healey.

The question of when an AGM will be held is also up in the air, due to Healey heading off on a vacation in the near future. Speaking last week, Haraldson had indicated that the AGM would be postponed until a window of time when a trustee going away to Europe would be able to get sworn in within 30 days of the event.

“If a trustee is away, and he is away more than 30 days from the AGM, then all of a sudden he is no longer a trustee and we’d have to have another election,” said Haraldson, last week.

“We don’t want that to happen. We’re quite satisfied with the two trustees that have been elected, and we want to make sure that he is back in time, after the AGM, that he has time to sign in, so he’s official.”

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Healey had confirmed to the newsroom that he was the trustee leaving.

Haraldson said that there were no repercussions for not holding the AGM by April 30th, which is the deadline outlined in Union Bay’s foundational legislation. He also indicated that both Healey and Vandenberg would be sworn in at the same time, and anticipated it taking place in July.

As for whether or not holding the AGM before Healey left on May 13th would solve the problem, Haraldson indicated it would not.

“You have to give so many days notice,” said Haraldson.

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“You can’t just turn around and call a meeting five days later, no, it doesn’t work that way. You have to give proper notice.”

Haraldson said he hadn’t wanted any of these things to happen, and blamed it on the events of April 23rd. He also indicated there would not be any meetings of the Union Bay board prior to the AGM.

Asked about concerns over the election results being ignored, Haraldson said that was “just not true”.

“The thing is, the two people that were elected, I’m very pleased with them,” said Haraldson.

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“I’m pleased that they participated, and when they come onboard the board, I will support them 100 per cent.”

While Healey hoped for an early meeting, he believed it would likely be in July.

“In past years, myself and Hein would have been sworn in May 1st, we could have had a meeting next week, and basically we could have carried on from there,” said Healey.

“But when that AGM got cancelled, with me going away, it just threw everything off kilter.”

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