Request to oust moderator not a collective decision

A letter asking the BOT for a change of date for the Greenwood all candidates forum included a request that not all council knew about.

Letter from city included a request that the moderator be changed - something not discussed at the council table when the motion was made to send the Board of Trade.

The Greenwood council meeting held Monday (Oct. 27) was a short one, lasting less than 30 minutes before the gavel fell to end the meeting in council chambers. Whether or not there was a meeting out in the street after the official meeting isn’t known, but there seems to have been one after the Oct. 14, 2014 meeting.

As was reported in the Oct. 16 issue of the Times the city sent a letter to the Greenwood Board of Trade (BOT) requesting a change of date for the all candidates forum from Oct. 22 to 29, however; when the BOT provided the Times with an information package about the forum, included was a copy of the letter from the city, and there was an additional request in it: “There is also a concern that the moderator might have a bias and we respectfully ask for the BOT to name a different moderator.”

“How did that get in there?” asked the Times reporter during question period. “It wasn’t in the original motion.”

Mayor Nipper Kettle first responded that it was a request from council, then immediately said, “I don’t know how it ended up there, but it was talked about at the table.”

Councillors Darla Ashton and Lee Cudworth both disagreed with Kettle that the choice of moderator had been discussed at the council table.

Kettle then said that council had a conversation afterwards.

“I am completely unfamiliar with the document that you are talking about and the paragraph in particular,” Ashton said.

“We did not discuss that at the table at all.”

“I am not sure what happened there,” Kettle reiterated.

“I know there was some discussion outside after the meeting,” Ashton said.

“It wasn’t me that brought it up,” Kettle insisted. “I don’t know how it ended up in there—it wasn’t me that brought it up.” Kettle did agree that he had signed the letter.

“We discussed it outside,” said Councillor Colleen Lang. “It was because of the letters that Terry Keough had written to the paper. As long as he follows the rules of a moderator, we are fine with him.”

The public gallery wasn’t done talking about the all candidates meeting though. Bob Smith said the way the agenda for the all candidates meeting was written, “You’d think you were going to nominate somebody for the presidency of the United States. What is all this BS? You’ve got to have red cards and green cards and all that crap. We always ran good [forums] in Greenwood before without all that stuff. Nobody got up and stabbed each other or anything.

“We might have argued a bit; but all this business you’d think it was some kind of CIA investigation.”

“I don’t know who drew it up, but they’re talking New York City or Toronto or something—not Greenwood.”

Kettle told him the agenda was a standard format that was used in the previous 2011 election.

“Yeah another thing—the moderator,” interjected Smith. “I notice a while back in the Greenwood paper he didn’t have anything too good to say about Greenwood over a doctor. So why did they pick him for a moderator?”

When contacted for comment by the Boundary Creek Times, BOT president Jim Nathorst said, “The BOT was happy to accommodate the meeting change request on short notice; however, we have every confidence that Mr. Keough will do a good job as moderator and we are not about to change. We are very upset that the letter does not reflect the motion made at the council table and we will be discussing this further at our meeting on Nov. 12.”