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Councillor: Mayor Jakeway a hypocrite

Coun. Andy Adams called out Mayor Walter Jakeway at Tuesday’s council meeting for a discrepancy in the mayor’s voting and accused Jakeway of speaking against council’s wishes.

Jakeway was under fire from Adams for voting against using the Alternate Approval Process to borrow $15 million for sewer and water projects when Jakeway had already voted in favour of the same process for an exchange of parkland with Seymour Pacific Developments.

Adams pointed out that at the June 25 meeting, council unanimously voted in favour of using the Alternate Approval Process for the parkland exchange. The process allows council to avoid a public referendum and gain approval for borrowing provided that no more than 10 per cent of the electorate sign an opposition form.

The policy was officially approved by council on Aug. 13. However, at the same meeting Mayor Jakeway voted against using the Alternate Approval Process for a different item.

“Three items later, on that very same agenda, bylaws (for) an Alternate Approval Process for sewer, water and infrastructure were voted on and passed with your worship (with) Councillor (Larry) Samson and Councillor (Ron) Kerr opposed,” Adams said. “Subsequently to that August 13 meeting, both in the press and on social media...you stated that you felt the Alternate Approval Process was undemocratic. So my question is, how can you vote in favour of the Alternate Approval Process and then three items later vote against?”

Jakeway admitted his votes were conflicting, but maintained his dislike of the policy.

“In that case I was inconsistent, but my belief is it’s not democratic,” Jakeway replied. “It doesn’t allow the public a clear voice.  I believe the process, whether it’s here, the Comox Valley Regional District or wherever, denies the public a chance to speak.”

Adams proceeded to ask Jakeway whether he feels the Community Charter, which regulates the Alternate Approval Process, is also undemocratic?

Jakeway said he believes, “that part of it is not wise legislation.”

Adams also took exception to the mayor publically speaking out against council’s decision to go with the Alternate Approval Process.

“The other part of the Community Charter, under the responsibilities of the mayor, where it says the mayor is to reflect the will of council, do you also believe that’s undemocratic?”

Jakeway replied, no, he thought that was consistent.

But again Adams questioned why the mayor was not reflecting the will of council by speaking out against council’s decision in the media.

Jakeway fired back that he never said anything after the council meeting.

“I only spoke in council,” Jakeway said. “The media was quoting exactly what I said in council and in council I’m allowed to say my opinion. I believe I posted the media report online and discussed it online. I can talk in social media all I want.”

Which prompted Adams to question Jakeway again, “And is that expressing the will of council?”

Jakeway got the last word in: “No, that’s expressing my opinion.”

While it’s been awhile since Jakeway has been called out by council it’s not the first time a councillor has questioned the mayor’s loyalty.

Last year Coun. Claire Moglove told the Mirror she was disappointed in Jakeway for urging the public to fight back against a tax revolt after council approved a 13 per cent residential tax increase, that was approved by council, much to Jakeway’s dismay.

“The will of council was reflected in (the) vote on the budget. Once council has made a decision, it is the mayor’s duty and responsibility to speak in support of that majority decision,” Moglove said at the time. “That is one of the hallmarks of being mayor. The mayor is the spokesperson for council and as such, the comments attributed to him are very disappointing.”

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