A Study in Governance?

Letter to the Editor

Re: Consultants will get up to $20K, Spencer Anderson, Dec. 17, 2013

Mr. Anderson’s report states that:

“Habkirk is also listed as an associate with Jerry Berry Consultants Inc., a consulting firm owned by former Nanaimo city manager Jerry Berry. However, Habkirk submitted a bid for the work to the city independently from Berry’s firm, said Terry Hartley, Nanaimo human resources and organizational planning director.

She will be paid between $7,225 and $8,500 to create documents outlining roles and responsibilities of the mayor and council members, as well as set guidelines and protocol on how councillors request information or raise issues or concerns about city staff members.”

An examination of Mr. Berry and Ms. Habkirk’s web site:


reveals the relation between Ms. Habkirk and Mr. Berry.  The contact email address is given as:

HabkirkBerry@shaw.ca .

We may all recall the nearly $500,000 paid in as yet undisclosed deal to Mr. Berry to go away.  If this was not a matter of governance, and indeed one most egregious, then I would find it difficult to conceive of one more appropriate. Is the man and/or his firm to now be paid to determine questions of governance for the city with this history hanging over his firm?  Can he make himself invisible by having his associates neglect to report their connection to him? If Staff neglected to report this connection to Council along with their recommendation to appoint this consultant, shame on Staff.  If Council was aware of this connection and made this appointment in the face of what appears to be an obvious abuse of governance, and a very costly one indeed for Nanaimo taxpayers, shame on Council.

Ron Bolin