Councilor Harris defends his name after newsletter circulates

There was no conflict of interest in how councilor managed civic duty and Civic job in Harrison Hot Springs

As most of you know I had decided not to run again for the position of Councillor in Harrison Hot Springs owing to insinuations made by a couple of individuals regarding my employment with Civic Consultants, a consulting engineering company that engineering services for the Village of Harrison Hot Springs. A group of residents convinced me to set my personal feelings aside and to run for re-election despite these unfounded accusations.

Now with the election in full force this same issue has once again surfaced. My position has always been to refuse to sink to the level of making negative and derogatory remarks about other candidates.  I also refuse to respond to derogatory comments that other candidates may direct my way. Unfortunately it seems to be part of the election process. I don’t like it and I believe most voters do not like it either.  What I can’t tolerate and I feel I have to respond to are incorrect and erroneous statements made as facts.

An “Election Newsletter” has been circulated stating that I personally charge the Village of Harrison Hot Springs $90 per hour for my services. This is simply untrue. To set the record straight here are the facts in relation to what I do for the Village.

• Activities associated with my role as Councillor — I am paid a salary to serve as Councillor and this covers meeting time and the many hours I devote to analysis of all issues related to Council business including decisions regarding development and infrastructure. I am the Chair of a number of committees such as the Canada Day Committee and Communities in Bloom. I am the council liaison to Mountain Institution Citizens Advisory Committee and Harrison Hot Springs Public Works. I have also served as Chair of the Show Kids You Care Committee and I work with the popular Story Time in the Park program. The personal hours spent on all of these activities are covered by my salary as a Councillor.

• Activities associated with my employment with Civic Consultants — I work on a part time basis for Civic Consultants on numerous projects some of which are in the Village of Harrison Hot Springs. I have always excused myself from Council meetings where Civic Consultants proposals are to be discussed and voted on.  Civic Consultants invoices the Village for work done based on an arm’s length negotiated contract for engineering services. I receive a salary from Civic Consultants for the Quality Assurance Inspection work I perform for them but I absolutely do not charge the Village directly. If you have any doubts or questions about this please feel free to contact the Village CAO for verification.

Whether working for the Village in my capacity as Councillor or as an employee of Civic Consultants I have always done the best I possibly can for this wonderful Village and its residents. Those are the facts.

Dave Harris