Budget meetings in municipalities can be protracted, boring affairs that can go late into the night. The Oak Bay meeting of April 13, 2015 was all that, but there was one notable difference – this one convened to an in camera meeting at 9:35 pm. The topic? Animal, Pest Control. The budget? See for yourself.
I draw your attention to the 2015 budget for deer control. Mayor Jensen sought to increase the budget from $25,000 to $35,000. That may surprise no one, but the question for Oak Bay residents is this: why has all but $4,000 for 2015 been spent on deer control by March?
When a budget meeting goes in camera, that can mean that discussion could contain “information that is personal information about an identifiable individual who holds or is being considered for a position as an officer, employee or agent of the municipality or another position appointed by the municipality,” or “the acquistion, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements, if council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality.”
Or it could mean “information that is prohibited, or information that if it were presented in a document would be prohibited from disclosure under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.”
How did the municipality spend the entire budget of $35,000 for deer control, save for $4,000, by March 2015? We have questions. The answers are likely hidden under Section 21.