By David F. Rooney
What is going on at City Hall?
Alan Mason, Revelstoke’s director of Community Economic Development, was suspended with pay on Wednesday, October 29, and, faced a hearing on Friday.
The reasons for all this are not known. City Hall had nothing to say about this on Friday and City Councillors say simply that they can’t comment. Mason is saying the same thing. Because this is apparently both a legal and a personnel matter they cannot discuss it openly.
While the whys and wherefores of all of this are murky (no matter how transparent our political and bureaucratic leaders proclaim themselves to be) the fact that it is happening at all quickly leaked out on Thursday.
Members of the business community, most members of which have known Mason for years and respect his efforts to promote the community, are concerned but baffled. The Chamber of Commerce is aware of this but without any information is at a loss as to what they can or should say.
Perhaps the most confusing aspect of this is its timing. We are in the middle of a very important election that is going to determine the political, economic and social direction our community is going to take over the next decade. So why sack, or discipline, a well-known and highly respected senior official at this particular time?
This could — and should — have been postponed two or three weeks until after the election.
If Chief Administrative Officer Tim Palmer, Mayor David Raven and City Council push Mason out the door he will become the third senior staff member to get the axe in a year. Planner John Guenther left in May 2013 after just a few years with the City. Lyle Huntley, hired on in November 2013 as the director of Corporate Administration and Communications was forced out after just two months.
Obviously, there’s a problem at City Hall.