Kings County council says Bob Best has an 'open mind' on airport relocation

Kirk Starratt
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Bob Best.

A Kings County councillor says he hasn't closed his mind to airport relocation possibilities and his peers are backing him up.

At the July 22 committee of the whole session, Deputy Warden Brian Hirtle brought forth a motion to recommend council to confirm that the allegations of bias involving Coun. Bob Best regarding the municipal airport relocation committee are unfounded.

Coun. Jim Winsor brought the matter to the last council session, asking for an in-camera discussion. When the solicitor indicated it would be a matter for public discussion, Winsor tried to get it added to the agenda but the motion failed.

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Hirtle said Winsor had taken the concern to the media and he wanted to give Best a chance to respond.

Responding to questions from Warden Diana Brothers, Best said he is open to discussion on any topic, including the airport, and he hasn't closed his mind to other options other than 14 Wing Greenwood for a relocated airport.

"I'll always have an open mind," Best said.

Coun. Emma Van Rooyen expressed concern that, if she voted in favour of the motion, it would be saying that Winsor's concern was unfounded and that he was aggressive or wrong. If she voted against it, it would be saying Best was doing something that puts the relocation process at risk. She said she doesn't believe Best has done so.

We don't have to push buttons to punish someone. Coun. Emma Van Rooyen

"We don't have to push buttons to punish someone," Van Rooyen said.

Coun. Wayne Atwater asked for assistance from chief administrative officer Tom MacEwan to write an amendment to the motion on Atwater's behalf. Hirtle and his seconder, Coun. Mike Ennis, instead withdrew their motion to be replaced with the motion worded by MacEwan.

Councillors voted to confirm they are satisfied, based on debate and discussion, that Best has an open mind on the airport move.

Coun. Pauline Raven abstained from the vote and Coun. Kim MacQuarrie voted against it.

More to come.

Organizations: Kings County council

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