RDCK chair John Kettle denies making comments that upset Town of Creston staff.

RDCK chair, Creston bury hatchet over statement

Regional district chair John Kettle and the Town of Creston have agreed to make up and move on after comments that incensed town staff.

Regional District of Central Kootenay chair John Kettle and the Town of Creston have agreed to make up and move on after comments that incensed town staff.

In a letter to the regional district, council claimed Kettle made a “defamatory” public statement against the town during an October 19 workshop hosted by the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments. They alleged he said “Creston is in serious trouble because of mismanagement.”

“Council considers this statement to be both inappropriate and unfounded,” read the letter from Mayor Ron Toyota. “Council recognizes that such defamatory statements are part of a larger adversarial process which benefits no one.”

Kettle, however, denies uttering the comment attributed to him and says he never meant to malign employees. He says his statement came during a discussion about the new municipal auditor general and was misheard or misinterpreted.

He says he used Creston as an example of “a community in financial crisis” — although he now regrets naming it. He also says he spoke as an individual director, not as RDCK chair.

“I never said [the town] was mismanaged. How they got that, I don’t know, but I categorically deny saying that,” he told the Star.

Kettle says he was surprised to receive the letter of reproach because no one said anything to him at the time, even though town councillor Wes Graham and two staff members were present. He has since met with council and thinks they have patched things up.

“I told them ‘If you honestly believe I said that and can find someone to back you up, you need to sue me.’ We shouldn’t wash our dirty laundry [in public].”

Toyota, who considers the matter closed, notes the letter to the regional district didn’t request any action: “It was a matter of making a statement. We weren’t expecting an apology, denial, or anything. We just wanted it recorded.”

Toyota called it “an unfortunate situation” but believes they had to stick up for their staff. “Sometimes you have to make a stand, and then move on … I believe we are okay.”

In addition to taking Kettle to task, the letter said Creston is “demonstrating great resiliency” in facing the financial challenges of municipal governance, by holding the line on taxes and negotiating with the province to save on policing costs.

Just Posted

RDCK approves loan request to remediate Salmo tailings site

The H.B. Mine tailings pond poses a risk of toxic contamination

Leafs stretch winning streak to seven

Nelson routed Golden 7-3 on Saturday

VIDEO: John Dooley elected Nelson’s mayor

Logtenberg, Anderson, Woodward, Renwick, Morrison and Page elected to council

15 new mayors to take office across the Kootenays

Here’s a look at the highlights from across the Kootenay region in B.C.

Castlegar voters choose Tassone as new mayor

All incumbent councillors also returned

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Voter turnout at 36% in B.C.’s municipal election

Vancouver saw 39% turnout, Surrey saw 33%

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

The online auction features 22 items from Hawking, including his doctoral thesis on the origins of the universe, with the sale scheduled for 31 October and 8 November.

In Khashoggi case: Saudi calls, ‘body double’ after killing

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom announced early Monday, to express condolences for the death of the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by officials that allegedly included a member of the royal’s entourage.

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur waives right to preliminary hearing

Bruce McArthur, a 67-year-old self-employed landscaper, has been ordered to stand trial on eight counts of first-degree murder.

N.B. village faces backlash after council raises ‘straight flag’

Chipman Mayor Carson Atkinson says the flag met the village council’s criteria because it “recognizes, accepts and respects the rights of individuals under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

Most Read