The bad blood between Mayor Rick Green and a majority of his Langley Township councillors grew thicker last week when the chairman of Metro Vancouver appointed him to all the standing committees which he had requested.
At an in-camera meeting on Nov. 29, council approved the appointments of council members for Metro Vancouver committees. Green was on none of them.
On Dec. 10, Green wrote to Metro Vancouver chairman Lois Jackson, the mayor of Delta, requesting that he be re-appointed to six committees, including the mayors’ committee, and regional planning, agriculture and water.
Jackson agreed, either ignoring or unaware of Township council’s resolution. Green is a former Delta councillor and was involved in municipal politics at the same time as Jackson.
Green said that council knew very well that he wanted to continue sitting on those six committees.
“Lois Jackson had asked me if I had interest in serving on those committees,” he said, adding that council knows that it’s up to Jackson, and not council members, to make appointments.
Green said that he has served on the committees for two years, and Jackson was leaning on that experience.
Green’s letter, sent without council’s knowledge, made no reference to council’s decision last September to strip the mayor of his directorship on the Metro Vancouver board for the remainder of his term.
This was the result of council’s anger over Green’s revelation that in 2009 he had received an anonymous letter and copies of corporate records relating to a company called Brownshak Developments. Green claimed that these documents might support allegations of improper conduct of Brownshak and its principals, who were the wives of realtors Joel Schacter and Bob Bailey, and of MLA Rich Coleman and Township administrator Mark Bakken. Brownshak was a limited company, and its only purchase was an Aldergrove townhouse.
Brownshak was dissolved in 2005.
When the Brownshak issue first came up in 1996, then-Conflict of Interest Commissioner Ted Hughes found that allegations of conflict against Coleman (referred to in the literature received anonymously by Green) were without foundation.
A separate legal opinion by Lidstone and Co. came to the same conclusion as Hughes, and the Township’s legal counsel of the day.
Last September, Green admitted he misled council, the majority of whom then punished him by stripping him of his Metro Vancouver directorship.
That ruling was not unanimous, as Councillor Mel Kositsky voted against censuring the mayor.
On Friday, Councillors Kim Richter and Charlie Fox were furious that Green had contacted Jackson without council’s knowledge.
What Green did is highly irregular, Richter said.
“He didn’t even tell council that he wrote to Lois Jackson. We didn’t find out until today (Jan. 14).”
Fox discovered Jackson’s re-appointment of Green to the Metro Vancouver committees when he attended the board of directors meeting on Friday.
As Metro Vancouver chairman, Jackson has sole authority to make committee appointments.
Appointed by council to replace Green as a Metro Vancouver director, Fox said he was “a little disillusioned.”
“I thought that we had done a fair process and I thought that there was an appointment for other council members,” Fox said.
“I felt we had followed the rules set out in the Community Charter.”
Fox said that he challenged Jackson on the appointments.
“I told her that the will of council was not being respected,” he said.
Jackson explained to Fox that she re-appointed Green in the interest of continuity.
Requesting re-appointment to committees on which he already sat, but for which council had suggested replacements, “speaks to his leadership style, which is a lack of respect for the will of council,” Fox said.