Saanich Mayor says gulf widening between himself and council


On the heels of seven  Saanich councilors expressing their concerns around the handling of Police Chief Bob Downie's retirement and subsequent re-employment, Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell says this is an example of a growing rift between himself and council. "I would have preferred given the leak and the timing for the council simply to say the board and the Mayor have made a decision  instead it seems like most of council are just sort of ducking for cover pointing fingers away from themselves when there's a collective responsibility here at least at the budgeting level."

The Councillors went public about their frustration with the Mayor in his role as the head of the police board.

Problems erupted after the municipality's Police Chief, Bob Downie, was allowed to retire earlier than planned, was given a nearly $380-thousand severance package, and then was re-hired under a new contract. 

Mayor Atwell heads the police board, but according to Councillor Fred Haynes, Atwell failed to communicate any of this to councilors who were left unprepared to answer questions from angry taxpayers after the news went public.

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