A Simple Question – A Letter to the Editor – and to Mayor Ruttan and Council
For more than six months a curtain of darkness has been pulled over the eyes of Nanaimo’s citizens and a muzzle placed on our elected officials in the matter of Mr. Berry’s departure from the service of the City of Nanaimo. This issue is not going away and taxpayers deserve to know why so many of their dollars were used for this purpose.
Accordingly, I respectfully ask the Mayor and Council to formally and publicly request Mr. Berry’s permission to release the grounds for Mr. Berry’s very profitable departure so that it can be determined whether it involved a pre-existing agreement made with a previous Mayor/Council; or a very highly incentivized deal with our current Council for reasons associated with Mr. Berry’s performance; whether he was just tired of his job; or whether any other, as yet unknown, cause was involved.
Such a request costs the City nothing and can demonstrate that our Mayor and Council are not ashamed of the deal they made with Mr. Berry. If, on the other hand Mr. Berry refuses we will be free to draw our own conclusions.
We already know that the deal will cost Nanaimo taxpayers some $600,000 for no effort in return from Mr. Berry. What we do not know is how this waste of both money and talent was allowed to take place and whether we may have more such costly possibilities lurking.
It has now been over a week since this simple request was issued to our Mayor and Council. It was also published as a letter to the editor in the Bulletin, but not, strangely enought, in the Daily News.
To date there has been no response from City Hall. Perhaps, despite the continuous stream of letters in the papers from a wide variety of citizens, it is felt that secrecy in dealing with taxpayer money is OK and that we deserve no response.
What do you think?
What about the car allowance. Did Berry lease his car for the purpose of carrying out his duties for say five years, and now that he is gone, is the city required to continue to pay for the lease? If that is so, perhaps the city could use the car.
Perhaps we will find out more about how the whole process works with the “departure” of Marilyn Hutchinson from the Economic Development Office. This seems to have taken place quite quickly as in looking at the on-line staff directory this evening, I find Ms. Hutchinson no longer listed. How much will we be paying to see her go? And how much liability has Council taken on to cover rewards to departing staff?