WATCH: Another candidate says they want to be Nanaimo’s next mayor. Even though the election is more than four months away it’s another sign of growing discontent with what’s been happening at City Hall. Kendall Hanson reports.
“I know we can do better,” said Don Hubbard, as he announced his intentions to run for the position of Nanaimo’s next mayor on Thursday. “It’s time for a change, a big change and we need good civic leadership here.”
His announcement comes at the same time as a scathing report by City auditor KPMG was released, on the way Nanaimo is run.
It outlines how the City’s top two managers reviewed each other’s expenses. The report stated: “this cross approval process provides for the opportunity of collusion.”
Credit card statements obtained by CHEK News through a Freedom of Information request shows Nanaimo’s suspended Cheif Financial Officer Victor Mema made 64 personal charges to his city credit card.
Those charges violated city policy.
The KPMG report slams the city for failing to protect whistleblowers saying when an employee raised concerns about the use of city Funds “disciplinary letters were placed in the complainants’ employee files.”
The report goes on to recommend improvements.
It also said the city should abide by it’s hiring protocols that involve background checks and calling of references.
“It appears that in some situations, steps in the process are bypassed.” said the report.
A leaked letter written by Councillor Dianne Brennan’s lawyer in 2015 stated that did not happen when a majority on Nanaimo City Council hired CAO Tracy Samra.
Nanaimo residents say it’s hard to believe what’s happening. Both Tracy Samra and Victor Mema have been relieved of their jobs pending investigations.
Councillor Gord Fuller says the report relates up to December 31st end and council has dealt with or is dealing with the recommendations.
“I wouldn’t run an organization where I didn’t have people signing off and full disclosure,” said Hubbard when asked the KPMG report.
The report is providing more fodder for candidates leading up to the October municipal election.