Kimberley City Councillor Darryl Oakley says that his first term as a city councillor has been frustrating at times, but he intends to seek another because there is work to be done and he wants to see it through.
There are a few things in particular Oakley is anxious to see some action on; including the motion from Council to explore a visit from the Auditor General.
“I really support that,” Oakley said. “And the Auditor General should focus on the flume. The reality is, it’s over budget. We were fortunate to get the grant.
“It’s a beautiful project. It will be a legacy. It will be wonderful. But we need to understand how to manage a big project.”
Oakley also has concerns about the Sun Mine project.
At Council on Monday evening this week, Oakley inquired about a previous resolution by Council to release all information that could be released on the project.
“The Sun Mine resolution was 336 hours ago,” Oakley said Monday. “I don’t understand why it hasn’t happened.”
“The resolution was to release information in a timely manner,” said City CAO Scott Sommerville. “It was passed May 26 and on May 29 I got an email asking why wasn’t it done. We are preparing a press release but I feel it’s premature.
“We have partners that we must coordinate the press release with.”
“I understand that,” Oakley replied. “I’m not trying to undermine the process of working with partners. But the press release was always in the plans. If Council did not want to release the information, then it should have defeated the motion.”
Coun. Bev Middlebrook said that as she understood it at the time, her understanding was that information would be forthcoming in three weeks.
In any event, Oakley says he is concerned about the Sun Mine.
“I think it’s a really funky, interesting project, but I do have concerns. I wish somebody other than the City took it on. I think we are too small a city to take it on. We need to focus on infrastructure.
“The Sun Mine offers no new jobs, no new taxes from the project. They were very clear about that from the start. It’s done. Council voted four to three to make it a go. I just want to focus on the basics.
“We should be doing a lot more with infrastructure. Roads, sewage treatment; really basic stuff needs attention.”
Oakley says that he hopes the City can now enter into an era of focusing on a solid infrastructure plan.
“There are no more big projects in the cue. We need a full infrastructure assessment. I mean every pipe in the ground. How long will it last? What will it cost to replace? How much longer does the sewage treatment plant last and what is the cost to replace it? How about the Civic Centre?
“We need a broad look at the plans for renewal of all our infrastructure. And we need to have a look at how we approach and work with federal government and the province to get the grants to do the work.
“Right now we’re doing it piecemeal and my gut feeling is it’s not sustainable. I’m not getting the information I need.
“I hope we are poised to go after the dollars and get the work done. We need a clear picture of where we stand.”