Gamble is investigator

Well­ing­ton North has followed the lead of the majority of county municipalities in appointing Norm Gam­ble as municipal meeting investigator.
Mayor Mike Broomhead noted that was the route picked by a lot of municipalities in the county.
Councillor Dan Yake asked for an explanation of the role of the investigator.
Chief Administrative Offi­cer Lori Heinbuch said investigators would look into complaints lodged by residents or councillors into actions taken within closed council meet­ings.
She said Gamble does not charge a retainer, and charges $350 per day only when investigating a complaint.
Broomhead said an example would be council going into closed session, and coming out with a resolution about an un­related matter. It also means in camera (closed session) minutes need to be very accurate.
Councils must specifically say why discussion is behind closed doors, and talks cannot diverge from that topic. He said in Well­ington North, most in cam­era talks have been about in­dus­trial land, land sales, or employees, all of which are permitted. He said he is aware of other councils in the past dis­cussing items that were un­related to closed sessions.
“This takes away from a tendency to discuss other items since council happens to be in camera,” he said.
Yake questioned how members of the public would know to ask about or lodge a complaint.
Councillor Ross Chaulk asked if there is a means for residents to incur costs if council is not at fault. Broomhead was unaware of any.
Heinbuch said the meeting investigator has the ability to determine which re­quests can be considered fri­volous.
Chaulk said he could see both the good and bad .
Councillor Bob Mason noted, council must name one.