Mayor Greg Granstrom ended council's regular meeting on Monday with a brief apology for bypassing council consultation as he and CAO Victor Kumar ploughed ahead with a grant application for a $5 million dollar indoor swimming pool—but Granstrom made no mention of the $25,000 spent on the application without proper authorization.
The mayor and CAO's choice to focus the grant on the swimming pool over other recreational facilities was made without input from council, and $25,000 was spent on architectural and engineering plans without council’s authority.
Nevertheless, while apologizing, Granstrom left no room in Monday's meeting to discuss the problem or how it may be avoided in the future.
"I apologize to council for dropping the ball on that one. I think I should have gave you all way better information," he told council. "I take full responsibility for the fact that it wasn't there [in the agenda]. I also take full responsibility to make sure that everyone is fully briefed from now on. I make that my goal, so that we don't ... so I don't drop the ball again on that."
As Coun. Kathy Moore raised her hand to speak, the mayor added, "I don't really want to discuss it. I don't want to discuss it."
Moore was allowed a short statement: "It's not about you dropping the ball, it's about the process. We need policies—"
Before she could finish, the mayor interrupted: "I understand that, and that's what I mean by dropping the ball."
And that was the end of it.
The Telegraph has asked the mayor about his choice of the verb "to brief," which means to instruct or inform someone in preparation for a task. We suggested that the problem was not so much the lack of a "fully briefed" council, but rather the lack of consultation, debate, and cooperative decision-making within council to set city goals. The mayor offered no comment.
We asked other questions too: why did the process break down? What would you have done differently? How can you assure Rosslanders that the process of timely council consultation and debate to determine priorities will be adhered to in the future?
As of press time, we have received no reply.