Will it be third time lucky for Wayne Atwater's FCM bid?

Jennifer Hoegg jhoegg@kingscountynews.ca
Published on May 5, 2014
Wayne Atwater

The deputy warden is hoping the third time is the charm for a motion to nominate a Kings County councillor to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ board.

Brian Hirtle has a proposed motion on the May 6 council agenda to nominate Coun. Wayne Atwater, a current member of the FCM board, to the position again.

A similar motion was voted down at the March committee meeting, but was then reintroduced at the April 1 council meeting agenda.

Why is it back?

“The municipal solicitor mistakenly gave incorrect advice to council,” Hirtle said. The deputy warden explained that the lawyer didn’t note that an item can only be added to council agenda with a two-thirds majority vote, which didn’t happen in April.

The county’s procedural bylaw states: “A motion in the case of urgent and pressing necessity may be added to the agenda of council at the time of approval of the agenda, without previous debate or notice being given only by the two-thirds majority of the councillors present.”

Hirtle said the lawyer let councillors know by email after the fact that the decision was out of order.

“To rectify that, I reintroduced it. I think it was educational for us,” Hirtle said, adding that council wants to make sure everything it does is procedurally correct.

Both times the motion has come before councillors, there has been lengthy discussion and close votes: 5-5 in March and 6-5 in April.

“We certainly make a mountain out of a molehill sometimes,” Hirtle said.

One of the contentious issues during prior debates was an alleged lack of reporting from Atwater on his current term with the FCM board. Attached to the May 6 agenda package is a two-page report on the year to date. The report includes an estimated cost of the 2013-2014 year of $7,000, far less than the $25,000 budgeted.