Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for March 5, 2013

Debate sees flare-up between mayor, councillor

Coun. Dave Stockdale says he will apologize to Mayor Dan Curtis over one comment made at Monday evening’s council meeting.

By Stephanie Waddell on March 5, 2013 at 3:35 pm


Photo by Whitehorse Star

Coun. Dave Stockdale and Mayor Dan Curtis

Coun. Dave Stockdale says he will apologize to Mayor Dan Curtis over one comment made at Monday evening’s council meeting.

However, the veteran councillor said, he will stand by his other remarks over how meetings are to operate.

In an interview this morning, Stockdale said he felt a comment he made later in the meeting – that Curtis should join the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous’ Sourdough Sams next year – was inappropriate. He said he planned to apologize to Curtis later today.

He didn’t go into detail on what he meant by it, but said that was the one comment he said last night he would apologize for.

Coun. Mike Gladish asked that Stockdale make an apology, with Stockdale saying he would not.

It was then that Coun. Kirk Cameron said he hopes council members can return to showing one another respect as they had over the past four-plus months since the October 2012 election.

Cameron also stated the “huge respect” he has for everyone on council.

That discussion only happened after Stockdale and Curtis disputed the Procedures Bylaw.

At that point, members were discussing proposed funding for festivals and special events.

Last night was a standing committee meeting, where council discusses issues it’s to vote on the following week.

As chair of the community services committee, Gladish directed which council members could speak at various times in the discussion.

Stockdale asked a question about the Breakdancing Yukon Society’s plans and funding request for its CypherFest International Breakdance Festival.

The mayor was directed to his turn. He began noting the work the group has done.

Stockdale then wondered aloud if Curtis had a question or if he was just making a speech.

As the back and forth between the pair continued, Curtis slammed down his gavel, calling a point of order.

The immediate discussion continued focusing on the grants. Cameron later remarked that he was uncomfortable with the exchange between the two council members.

Curtis then noted that during committee meetings, he acts as the umbrella chair, and will not be debated nor challenged.

The mayor then argued it was decided amongst council members that during discussions on issues, the committee chair would allow members one question and move on to another council member so that each member got a chance to speak.

Council, he said, is currently reviewing the Procedures Bylaw, which governs how council meetings are run.

Stockdale retorted he never agreed to council having one question at a time. He argued that method interrupts the flow of questioning a member may have.

He stated that the meetings are indeed a forum where debate can occur.

Stockdale also argued the Procedures Bylaw has yet to pass.

Curtis, speaking to reporters after the meeting, said that while a new bylaw is being looked at, in the meantime, there’s the current bylaw to govern meetings.

Curtis also told reporters that while he was “disappointed” with the exchange and Stockdale’s comments, “everybody has a bad day.” He’s sure it won’t be long before he and the councillor are laughing about it over coffee one day, he added.

Curtis went on to note he tries to have a level of respect in council chambers.

The current Procedures Bylaw (available at http://www.city.whitehorse.yk.ca/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=85) deals with how meetings are to be conducted, he noted.

Specifically, the committee chair may decide who speaks and when.

It was discussed at a council and senior management meeting that each council member would be given a chance to ask one question before moving on to the next. That’s to ensure each member is given ample opportunity to be engaged in the discussion rather than having one member take up a large amount of time on an issue.

He stressed that while that is a change to how things have been done, there is no limit to how many questions a council member may ask.

Rather, he said, it’s a matter of trying to get all council members involved in the conversation.

The mayor went on to point out there are provisions under Section 26 in the Procedures Bylaw, that if there isn’t proper respect in council chambers, a member can be asked to leave.

That’s never happened and Curtis said he doesn’t expect it would ever come to that.

While the city is looking at changes to the Procedures Bylaw, it’s unknown when an amended bylaw will come forward for a vote by council.

CommentsAdd a comment

Patrick Irish

Mar 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Dave Stockdale has made fun of people who attended meetings associated with protecting McIntyre Creek.

I wish he would just say he often says inappropriate things which are demeaning to people. If Dave said he is trying to be a better person we could understand.

Arn Anderson

Mar 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Once again politicians show how useful they are in society. When I have a electrical problem I phone an electrician, when I have a car problem I take it to a mechanic, when I can’t solve a physics problem I speak to a physics professor, when I need to talk about the side effects of a prescribed drug I talk to a pharmicist. When I need a laugh and want to see everyones precious tax dollars being pissed down the drain, I turn to a politician. Politicians of all brands DON’T solve anything despite what career they did before. But then again, politicians are the cream of the crop in today’s society. This crap has gots to go.

Derek Charlton

Mar 5, 2013 at 7:20 pm

I read with interest, sadness, and upset (Whitehorse Star, March 5, Page 3) how Mr. Stockdale feels he should apologize to Mayor Curtis for making the remark about Mayor Curtis joining the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous’ Sourdough Sams next year. Since this seems to be a comment that Mr. Stockdale feels he should apologize to the mayor for, perhaps Mr. Stockdale should also issue an apology to the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society and its many volunteers that have run for Sourdough Sam in the past.

Without the Sourdough Sams, the kids events that happen at the festival would not be possible. Each and every year these individuals have sold pins, held auctions, volunteered, entertained, and did what they could to assist the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society not only survive, but thrive.

In the 1990’s, the society was very close to bankruptcy. Without the Sourdough Sams, as well as our other many fundraisers, the festival would never have made it past 1995. Today we are getting ready to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the festival in 2014. Not only surviving, but thriving. Without the Sourdough Sams, and the volunteers that bring this festival to life every year other groups such as Lions, Kinsmen, Yukon Soccer Association, churches, and various other non-profit groups would not have the opportunity to fundraise such as they do now.

As a former board member, and current volunteer, it really bothers me to see this city ‘leader’ make comments that he obviously feels are derogatory enough to apologize to the Mayor for by referencing the mayor to a group of people that have given countless hours to the community.

I really feel that Mr. Stockdale owes not only the Mayor, but the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society and its many volunteers an apology and how about a THANK YOU for all that they have done over the past years to keep the festival alive and thriving.

Louisa Gee

Mar 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Well said, Derek!  Dave Stockdale gets loopier every year with some of his obnoxious comments and it does not serve the public to have this man still on council.

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