May. 15, 2018

Time for council to get off the pot on Samra issue

What’s the holdup? Nanaimo citizens patience is running out with the ongoing saga at city hall.

The first action was taken on Monday when former Chief Financial Officer and deputy city administrator Victor Mema was sent on his way.

In the meantime, Chief Administrative Office Tracy Samra was granted her fourth extension in her court bid to overturn what amounts to a restraining order to stay away from city property and some councillors and staff. 

The way things are going on this front, Samra’s continued employment could surpass the date of the next election on October 20.

City council can and should take immediate action on Samra’s future with the city. The court case is a separate issue which should not determine whether council takes action.

Council needs to make a decision either way and get the problem resolved. Letting it drag on is costing taxpayers a lot of money for an employee who continues to get paid while not working. Either way, council must decide whether to reinstate Samra or to dismiss her. 

If dismissal is the choice, then council must decide whether to dismiss with or without cause. If they dismiss her withoutcause, there would likely be a severance package involved. If she is let go with cause then there would be no severance pay, and she would have to sue the city to get anything. That would put the ball in her court.

There’s no legitimate reason to drag this on any longer.