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City council strips Kamloops B.C. mayor of ability to speak on behalf of the city

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The mayor of Kamloops will no longer speak for the city, after council passed a resolution stripping him of his position as its official spokesman.

The decision comes after more than a year of conflict between Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson, council, and city staff, including allegations that the mayor has poor communication skills, won’t accept responsibility, ignores confidentiality protocols, and misunderstands the rules around conflict of interest.

A report to council last month, by former Abbotsford mayor Henry Braun, found that without significant change in how Hamer-Jackson interacts with others, Braun is “not optimistic that there will be any improvement during the remainder of this term.”

The report, which comes with more than a dozen recommendations for improving the situation, says Hamer-Jackson’s position has consistently been that he has done nothing wrong, made no mistakes and has nothing to apologize for.

The resolution made in a closed-door meeting on May 14 and described in a news release Tuesday says the mayor has “repeatedly demonstrated that he is not willing to reflect the will of council.”

Under the resolution, the rotating deputy mayor for the month will be the official spokesperson for Kamloops.

“In face of challenges, our council remains confident in our ability to govern effectively and lead our city forward,” the statement from the city says.

“These measures signify Council’s resolve to maintain trust and transparency in our leadership. We will move forward with confidence and continue to put the interests of the community ahead of our own, knowing our actions will reinforce ethical governance.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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