Mayor Gregor Robertson will not pursue a code of conduct investigation into Coun. Adriane Carr for publicly criticizing the city manager over a controversial park board issue.
After consulting with the city clerk and city solicitor, Robertson has decided not to appoint an independent investigator and instead “resolve the matter more informally,” said a statement emailed from his office to the Courier Monday afternoon.
“The mayor reached out to councillor Carr on Friday to organize a meeting with her and councillor [Geoff] Meggs to discuss the code of conduct complaint, and he is very hopeful that they can arrive at a sensible resolution and put the matter to rest,” the statement said.
Reached Monday, Carr said she was “appreciative of the mayor’s intention to resolve this matter and I think that’s the right way to go.”
Carr said she will meet with Robertson and Meggs Thursday morning in the mayor’s office. She noted Meggs has been “bullish” on the need for an investigation and was curious what his position will be at the meeting.
The mayor’s decision to meet with Carr comes after he told the Courier Friday in a story published online that he was following up on Meggs’ formal complaint that Carr be investigated under the code of conduct rules.
Under the code of conduct, which sets out guidelines for politicians, staff and advisory board members to abide by when on the job, Robertson has the ability to appoint an independent investigator.
“That’s the next step that I’m looking at,” he told the Courier Friday. “It’s fine that [Carr] took that initial step to apologize but I have to assess the whole process with code of conduct violations and I’ll be working on that in the days ahead.”
The controversy erupted after Carr publicly accused Ballem of resorting to bullying tactics to prevent her from introducing a motion tied to a park board issue.
Upset by citizens’ unrest with the park board’s plan to shift management of community centres from their associations to the board, Carr planned to introduce a motion to council to determine the potential financial impacts on the city’s budget.
She told reporters that Ballem contacted her in an effort to quash the motion. When asked via email by the Courier about the allegation, Ballem declined to comment.
At the Feb. 12 council meeting, Carr attempted to introduce her motion but Robertson ruled it out of order. He said the city should not involve itself in negotiations between the park and community centre associations.
“These negotiations could be adversely affected, impacted or compromised by any council discussion of matters that the motion raises,” Robertson told Carr in the council chambers.
During that same session of council, Carr apologized to Ballem. Carr is the Green Party’s lone councillor on a council dominated by the mayor’s Vision Vancouver party, which hired Ballem the same week the party was sworn into office in 2008.
Carr said Monday she still maintains that her motion was appropriate and citizens have the right to know how the city’s budget could be affected by the park board’s plan.