Last Delta council agenda prior to election full of hot topics

It’ll be a council meeting full of controversial issues.

Just a few days before the municipal election, Delta councillors are scheduled to discuss a couple of items Monday that have become hotly contest during the election campaign.

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The first issue is the stench from the Enviro-Smart composting facility in East Ladner. Facility owner Green For Life recently provided information stating the operation is in compliance with the city’s zoning bylaw requirement that at least one per cent of raw material being composted must originate on the site. A recent letter by GFL director Brian King to the city states that, using 2017 data, the actual amount was 2.5 per cent.

A consultant for the city reviewing the composting operation requested the information, but also concluded the compost operation is non-compliant with Delta’s zoning bylaw. GFL response was to “respectfully disagree” with how the conclusion was arrived, noting the company is in compliance with the one per cent rule.

It’s just the latest twist in what’s become a heated and personal battle in the campaign.

Achieving for Delta mayoral candidate George Harvie recently said any suggestions he handled the Enviro-Smart file inappropriately while he was Delta’s CAO are simply false, calling it a baseless and shameful attack on his character by his political opponents.

Team Delta mayoral candidate Sylvia Bishop responded that Harvie’s response was overly sensitive and disproportionate, and that public scrutiny is essential to public service.

Council will also discuss a motion to review the so-called “golden handshake” civic politicians unanimously approved for themselves last year.

Coun. Jeannie Kanakos brought forward the motion, saying said she has been listening to the community and agrees the retroactive clause should be deleted.

The issue had been brought forward by council candidate Mike Smith, who challenged how the end of service payouts were approved and was particularly critical of Kanakos, whom he accused of backtracking for votes after she staunchly defended the payouts a year ago.

Mayoral candidate Jim Cessford has also been critical of the payouts on social media, saying the issue should have been discussed in an open forum so the public could have observed the discussion.

This week, Bishop and fellow councillor Robert Campbell joined Kanakos and Coun. Bruce McDonald to go after Harvie on that issue as well.

The policy sees a one-time payout to council members at the end of their service. It’s based on length of service and is capped at 12 years.

The election takes place on Saturday, Oct. 20.

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