March 30, 2018 5:19 pm
Updated: March 30, 2018 9:46 pm

‘This item was not on the agenda’: West Van mayor angered at Metro board retirement allowance

The mayor of West Vancouver is blasting the decision by the members of the Metro Vancouver board to give themselves a retirement allowance. Jill Bennett reports.


At least one member of the Metro Vancouver board is speaking out against a recent vote to give themselves a one-time retirement allowance and pay increase.

West Vancouver Mayor Michael Smith was on vacation and did not attend last Friday’s meeting when the motion was tabled and passed.

WATCH: From 2015 — Public sector wage increase outpaces private sector

“I find this truly shocking,” Smith wrote in an email to Global News.

“I checked the board agenda before I left on vacation and this item was not on the agenda.”

He said that had he known about the vote, he would have cancelled his vacation plans and attended the meeting.

“Why were board directors not given advance notice that this issue was being considered? There should have been a full discussion by the board prior to staff preparing bylaws. What was the rush?”

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Smith said not only was there no advance notice for the issue, but the chair and vice-chair of the board — Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore and Vancouver Coun. Raymond Louie — are in a conflict of interest as they will be the biggest beneficiaries of the decision.

“Those Metro Vancouver directors, they don’t work for Metro,” he said. “They get paid to attend a meeting. Often the meetings are less than an hour long.”

READ MORE: Jon McComb: Which Metro Vancouver politicians voted to give themselves a raise? No one wrote it down

Smith said the issue was discussed at length in a closed meeting of the finance and intergovernment relations committee, a group he refers to as the “Committee of the Chosen Few. ”

“If my nearly 50 years of experience in the private sector — my management experience and my track record of success — wouldn’t qualify me as one of the directors that should be sitting on a finance committee, then I’ll sit outside the Metro Vancouver head office wearing a diaper and whistle, ‘I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy’ all day,” he told Global News.

“The whole thing is completely and totally out of bounds.”

Smith told Global News he will be putting forward a motion to reverse the allowance at the next board meeting.

READ MORE: ‘That’s part of our responsibilities’: Metro Vancouver board chair defends self-assigned raise

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