After action was taken to censure a Peachland councillor after engaging in “inappropriate behaviour” with a district official, councillors discussed the situation during the public meeting on Aug. 10.
The District of Peachland’s council determined that Coun. Pete Coolio would be censured after he used his position as an elected official to pressure CAO Joe Mitchell into approving an unpermitted deck on a property he is involved in selling.
During a previous in-camera meeting on July 20, council decided to remove Coolio from committees and to bar him from representing the district in conferences and seminars.
But on Aug. 10, Coolio said all he wanted to do during his meeting with Mitchell on July 16 was to get a better understanding of building permits and why everything was taking so long.
“The whole controversy is founded upon the premise that building permits are very difficult to get and are expensive, but they’re not… and it’s certainly not very complicated for a deck,” he said.
Coolio added he thought the meeting was positive and amicable.
“I was given no indication that anything was wrong until the allegations in various reports that have been posted online,” he said.
Mayor Cindy Fortin confirmed that Coolio wrote the apology letter he was requested to but she said it wasn’t enough. And despite Coolio’s assertions that he meant no harm or offence, Fortin said his behaviour was inappropriate and crossed a line.
Fortin then asked council to write an apology letter on behalf of everyone.
Coun. Keith Fielding said it’s not possible to apologize for someone else’s behaviour and was unsure what Fortin would even write.
“Having said that, if there is a general consensus, that would be helpful in some way and I would support that,” he said.
After Fortin writes the apology letter, it will be sent to all councillors before being sent to Mitchell.