News

Unlimited authority is ‘inappropriate’

  - File photo
— image credit: File photo

White Rock’s city manager is recommending changes to a bylaw that allows him unrestricted financial discretion when settling legal claims against the city.

Dan Bottrill called the “unlimited authority” given to him as chief administrative officer (CAO) through the City of White Rock Officers and Employers Bylaw, adopted in 2008, uncalled for.

“With respect to powers, duties and responsibilities of the CAO, the current bylaw authorizes the CAO – one of the issues that I found a little interesting – to authorize settlements of claims against the municipality and there is no limitation on this authority,” he said at last week’s governance and legislation committee meeting.

“In my opinion, this unlimited authority (is) inappropriate.”

Bottrill told Peace Arch News the move to restrict that authority was not prompted by anything “unusual” occurring in the city with respect to legal claims.

At the Oct. 1 meeting, he proposed a new bylaw that would limit the amount he can authorize when settling claims, while also raising the amount he is able to award to city contracts to $250,000 from $150,000.

“A survey has indicated… $250,000 was more in alignment with other local governments,” he said.

The survey looked at nine Metro Vancouver municipalities, including Surrey, Chilliwack, Burnaby and Delta.

Another issue of the bylaw that was noted by Bottrill was the exclusion of the city clerk, Tracey Arthur, as an officer of the city.

According to Bottrill, it is common in municipalities for the city clerk to also act as corporate officer.

“The (White Rock) CAO was assigned the statutory duties of corporate officer and, as I had mentioned, it’s a little unusual. Corporate officer is generally assigned to city clerk. So the bylaw did not do that,” he said.  “And in fact, the previous CAO delegated that by correspondence to the city clerk. So there is a letter now to the city clerk to do that.”

The new bylaw, titled the City of White Rock Officer and Indemnification Bylaw, was supported by Mayor Wayne Baldwin.

The committee voted to recommend council approve the bylaw.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Fraser Health scales down mobile flu shot clinics
 
Breakfast with Santa returns to Peninsula
 
Sustainable hankies nothing to sneeze at
South Surrey businesses victims of smash-and-grab robbers
 
B.C. legislature to declare Terry Fox Day
 
Icy 16 Avenue closed after dump truck crash
Richmond Nature Park hosts its annual Wild Things event
 
Iona Beach to get Ecoblitz on Oct. 25
 
Bargain books

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.