Left to right: Coun. Larry Robinson

Left to right: Coun. Larry Robinson

Robinson withdraws call but not criticism: ‘We look like idiots’

White Rock mayor optimistic council harmony can be restored after surprise motion 'ruffles' feelings.

One of two White Rock councillors who criticized the handling of a motion to rescind an earlier council decision has withdrawn his request for a special council meeting, reasoning their efforts would not resolve concerns.

Coun. Larry Robinson confirmed Thursday that he withdrew his request for a special council meeting under the Community Charter – made Wednesday morning in conjunction with Coun. Helen Fathers – following discussion with the mayor and city manager.

However, Robinson maintained his criticism of council’s actions.

“We look like idiots,” he told Peace Arch News. “We make one plan, we get the city thinking we’re going in one direction; and suddenly we get another plan and we’re going to go in another direction. And what we’re doing to staff really isn’t fair.”

Fathers and Robinson had requested Mayor Wayne Baldwin call the special meeting in an effort to determine the chain of events behind a motion that blindsided them and others at Monday’s council meeting. Coun. Bill Lawrence had called for council to rescind a July 15 decision to move council chambers into a city-owned building at 1174 Fir St., explaining he had learned of a business interested in possibly leasing the building.

Council voted 4-3 in favour of Lawrence’s motion, with Couns. Robinson, Fathers and Al Campbell opposed.

While efforts to hold a special meeting have been quashed – at least two councillors are needed to make such a request – Fathers has not given up on getting to the bottom of what transpired.

“I can always put it (the issue) on the agenda for the next meeting. All is not lost yet,” she said.

Earlier this week, Fathers was highly critical of the process, as some councillors had no prior warning that the motion was coming forward, while others did.

Thursday, she maintained that what had transpired was “a travesty.”

Lawrence had advised city staff of his intention late last week, prompting them to seek a legal opinion as to whether it could be brought forward, given that work on the original directive had already been started.

Robinson said he too is still concerned that a potential lease of city property was being discussed publicly when no request for proposal had been issued or expression of interest received.

However, he said that even if a special meeting determined procedure wasn’t properly followed, “there’s no recourse under the charter.”

“It’s not like you can say you get 100 hours of community service or you’re put in stocks and we throw tomatoes at you,” Robinson told PAN.

“All we do is have a public meeting, and everybody stands up on their stool and makes a big fuss and – because we’re now in election mode – it’s going to end up throwing  a lot of crap at the wall at a time when we have a lot of serious stuff coming up, and I don’t want to be part of that political process.”

Robinson said he felt that Baldwin had failed in his mayoral duties to communicate information to council, as outlined in the Community Charter, and said Baldwin acknowledged to him Wednesday that “he knows he may have made an error in judgment.”

Baldwin, however, disputed that, telling PAN Thursday, “If I don’t have the information, I can’t divulge it.”

While the mayor confirmed Lawrence had discussed the issue with him days prior – and he advised him to consult city staff regarding the legalities –  Baldwin said he didn’t know until 3:30 p.m. Monday that Lawrence was going to ask for the motion to be on that evening’s agenda.

“Did I fail? I suppose I could’ve quickly fired out an email at 3:30, but there just wasn’t time,” Baldwin said, noting council had meetings starting at 4 p.m. “Under the circumstances, no, I don’t think I failed.”

Baldwin did acknowledge the issue has “ruffled” feelings amongst council members, but he is optimistic harmony will be restored.


Just Posted

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Pier has reportedly been unused for a long time

A mixed-use development with 69 market rental units and 10 commercial units is proposed for the 2300-block of King George Boulevard. (Thinkspace rendering)
Pair of South Surrey apartment proposals move forward

Council gives third reading to rezoning applications for market-rental and residential projects

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read