Council briefs

Town will hear province’s pot pitch

Council agreed Monday to hear a proposal from the province to open a cannabis retail outlet in the town.

The town recently got a letter from the Liquor Distribution Branch – as did every other town with a liquor store – presenting an overview of what a government cannabis store would look like and an invitation to arrange a meeting to discuss it further.

Everyone agreed that a conversation would be fine, but Councillors Petra Veitimilla and Aimee Grice indicating they might lean toward supporting local small business.

“I like what’s going on in Osoyoos, where they are keeping the province out,” said Veitimilla.

Councillor Dave Mattes was a bit more gung-ho. “I’m in favour of sending a letter … telling them we’d love to have them fill a hole on Main Street,” he said.

Chief administrative officer Cathy Cowan told council that so far there has been just one inquiry about opening a cannabis store. The town earlier determined that the downtown core and along Highway 97 are the two zones in which such businesses would be allowed.

No, really, it’s an ashtray … for your pocket

When bylaw enforcement officers accost folks smoking in public next year they’ll likely be giving them a so-called “pocket ashtray” to help deter them from tossing their butts on the ground.

The device is sealable and fireproof pouch a little more than three inches square. The idea is that smokers will use it for their butts and thereby reduce litter and cut down the risk of wildfires.

Council agreed to pay $500, which is half the cost of the program to distribute 1,000 of the pouches. The Parks and Recreation Society will pay the other $500.

Parks and Rec will provide concrete receptacles where smokers will be able to deposit the contents of their pocket ashtrays.

Employee conduct code approved unchanged

Suggestions to amend the draft Employee Code of Conduct were turned back Monday and the code will be adopted as it was presented to council two weeks ago.

At the time, Councillor Dave Mattes sought changes that would have seen employees required to inform the town of any outside employment and enshrined the right of non-union employees to “representation” during disciplinary proceedings.

A report to council from chief administrative officer Cathy Cowan on Monday pointed out that “outside working hours, employees have a right to privacy and are not obligated to disclose other employment unless there is a conflict of interest in performing their job duties.”

On the issue of representation for exempt employees, the report said that while there is nothing on the subject in the individual contracts with the town, “an exempt employee does have the independent right to seek representation.”

Council voted to adopt the code as presented two weeks ago.

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