City of Yellowknife council briefs...
Lawsuit continues

NNSL (Jan 14/98) - A lawsuit launched to stop secret briefing meetings will continue in spite of the fact that the new council has brought an end to them.

Matthew Grogono, the new president of the Yellowknife Property Owners' Association, said the association will continue to seek a ruling on the legality of the closed briefing meetings held by the previous council.

"We had long discussions with the council and mayor and we are all of a common mind to take this case to its conclusion so a precedent can be established," said Grogono. "We want a ruling from a judge."

The association launched the suit more than two years ago. In November, a judge ruled that city administrator Doug Lagore and former Ald. Dick Peplow had to testify in Supreme Court when the case is heard.

O'Reilly questions task force

Ald. Kevin O'Reilly questioned the composition, accountability and effectiveness of a group lobbying to have a diamond sorting and evaluation facility established in the North.

O'Reilly said a representative from the NWT Federation of Labor should sit on the business-heavy Diamond Industry Development Task Force. He also suggested a representative from Alternatives North be included.

On the issue of accountability, O'Reilly noted council is not being given the information it needs to make responsible funding decisions.

"We as council have a duty to see that funds are well managed to serve the interests of all Yellowknifers," said O'Reilly.

He added the task force has no clearly defined strategies, objectives, tasks, roles or responsibilities.

The task force is composed of city, territorial representatives and business representatives.

Appealing candidates

Council has approved two new appointments to the development appeals board.

Leslie Green and Kevin Hodgins were chosen from among seven applicants for the two openings on the board that hears appeals of development permits.

Green and Hodgins will fill vacancies left by outgoing members Dusty Miller and Alan Vaughan, whose three-year terms expired Nov. 29.

Diamond opening

Mayor Dave Lovell will be among those to attend the grand opening of De Beers first Canadian office.

The opening of the diamond sellers' office, located in Vancouver, is scheduled for Jan. 19.

Card approval

Property owners can now pay their tax bills with credit cards.

Council gave unanimous approval to the recommendation that would allow tax bills to be paid by Mastercard and Visa credit cards.

One hitch, though. Those who pay by credit cards will not be eligible for early payment discounts.