Wednesday, April 11, 2018

More tributes for Councillor Nelson Kinney and a Council decision to leave seat vacant until October

The seat of the late Councillor Nelson Kinney was marked by a bouquet of
flowers on Monday night, later in the evening Council explored the options
when it comes to his seat and also provided for more tributes to his service

Prince Rupert City Council addressed an issue Monday night that all in the Council Chamber clearly wished that they didn't have to discuss, with Council provided with some options on what course of action to follow in these days since the passing of Councillor Nelson Kinney.

The task of outlining those options fell to the City's Financial Officer Corinne Bomben, who also serves as the City's Elections Officer and in a very respectful manner she provided the remaining members with some background on how the province views the process of replacement and what the city's obligations are, particularly in the lead up to a municipal election this fall.

Noting for Council that in the wake of the terrible news of Mr. Kinney's passing in late March, many in the community and on council had inquired as to what the steps are in such a situation.

She outlined a number of the different elements for municipal council governance issues and noted that according to the rules for elected office, the city is in the position to allow the seat to remain vacant until the October election, making that course of action for her recommendation to Council.

The Mayor moved the motion forward and Council approved the recommendation.

The discussion related to Mr. Kinney's seat on Council also provided an opportunity for Councillor Joy Thorkelson, who had not been in attendance at the last Council session, to provide for her first thoughts since Mr. Kinney's passing.

More tributes on the life of Nelson
Kinney were heard Monday at Council 
Councillor Thorkelson who has been on the council the longest of those in the Chamber on the night had many fond memories of her time with Mr. Kinney and delivered a heartfelt account of her time on Council with him.

She made note of his health troubles and determination to serve on council despite some rough times, as well as his popularity with the community who trusted him on council year in and out.

The Councillor also provided for an inside look into the Council dynamic and how Councillor Kinney had frequently  cautioned Council members to put aside their own partisan differences or personal projects and to think of what was best for Prince Rupert.

Ms. Thorkelson made note of his standing in the Gay community and his bravery in facing the issues of the time, adding how she had great respect for him,  as he had never been afraid and didn't care what anyone may say, observing how he was a shining example for his generation and the community.

The discussion expanded to explore what future plans might be in the offing to commemorate his life and service in and for Prince Rupert.

Councillor Randhawa inquired if there were any plans in motion for a memorial ceremony, with the Mayor noting that nothing has been planned for this time.

Councillor Cunningham added that it had been Mr. Kinney's wish that no service take place, but he also added that there was a move afoot in the community to remember Mr. Kinney's life in the future.

Councillor Cunningham also put forward an initiative that Mr. Kinney had championed, that of the creation of a COPD clinic for the community, with the Councillor observing that such a facility is something that Council and staff may wish to pursue and help put in motion.

He promised to bring back some more information to Council on how that initiative could serve as a good tribute to his memory and his work in the community.

The full discussion on all of those themes can be reviewed from the City's Video Archive, starting at the forty seven minute mark.

For more items related to Monday's City Council session see our Council Timeline Feature.

A wider overview of City Council discussion topics can be found from our Discussion archive page.

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