A truck is parked out front of the District of Lantzville's District Hall.

A truck is parked out front of the District of Lantzville's District Hall.

Lantzville councillors to discuss censuring council member

Councillors voted to discuss a motion that would censure Coun. John Coulson next year.

Lantzville councillors will discuss whether or not to censure one of their own next year.

At the end of a council meeting on Monday, Lantzville councillors voted in favour of discussing a motion that would see Coun. John Coulson censured on Jan. 9, the first regular scheduled council meeting of 2017.

Made at the end of the night by Coun. Will Geselbracht, the motion would censure Coulson for disclosing confidential District of Lantzville documents, such as a September 2015 letter from Stone Mountain Developments and Lone Tree Properties that has been referred to as the ‘conflict’ letter that was posted on his website, Lantzville411.ca.

“Councillor Coulson has caused the … conflict letter and development applications to be published on a website, Lantzville411.ca, controlled and operated by councillor Coulson, as well as on other social media websites,” Geselbracht told a packed Lantzville district hall.

The motion also calls on Coulson to no longer make reference to the letter, or other confidential matter relating to the Foothills, Ryeland and Gee development proposals without written approval from council. If approved, the motion would see district staff hire an outside consultant to conduct an investigation into the source of Coulson’s conflict letter and other confidential documents.

Speaking to the News Bulletin, Geselbracht said council needs to stop the “illegal” posting of confidential information on websites, such as Lantzville411.

“I don’t hold any ill will towards John, except that you can’t do that,” he said.

Geselbracht said the website has become a “distraction” to council.

“The real issue is, although councillors are entitled to look at preliminary development applications, you can’t disclose them prior to either the applications being approved by the district or coming to council,” he said.

Coulson told the News Bulletin that the motion caught him by surprise, adding that good government is broken and rules should be followed by all.

“We need to follow the rules and stop making agenda-based decisions,” he said.

Mayor Colin Haime, removed himself from the room during discussions on the motion, stating that he was unsure whether he was in conflict on the matter.

reporter2@nanaimobulletin.com