Kerememos council candidate causes confrontation

Repeated calls for order at council meeting end with call to police


There wasn’t a lot on the agenda at the October 17 meeting of Keremeos council, but that didn’t prevent it from becoming an interesting spectacle as council candidate Frank Kennedy repeatedly confronted council, resulting in a call to police.

Kennedy first objected to a reference made by Keremeos Mayor Walter Despot regarding the prospect of moving the Keremeos museum to the Grist Mill site. The mayor referred to Kennedy as being out of order at the time and asked him to wait until the end of the meeting to raise the matter.

During question period, Kennedy queried the mayor regarding advance publicity for a meeting held on October 5 between farmworkers, agricultural representative Glen Lucas of the BCFGA and local and federal government representatives.

“How do you have a public meeting without public notice?” Kennedy asked, insisting that he was told that the public would be informed at a “Coffee with the Mayor” meeting held two weeks prior.

“This was not a formal meeting,” answered CAO Laurie Taylor, “there were only notes, not minutes taken of the discussion.” She also noted that several interested members of the public were in attendance.

Kennedy insisted that village employees had assured him that he would be informed through the newspaper of the meeting, and that it wouldn’t happen until well into October.

The mayor replied that the meeting date was set after consultation with farmworkers. The answer did not satisfy Kennedy, who indicated that the meeting was held because organizers knew that he was not in town.

“A lot of people are upset by this situation,” Kennedy told council. “The situation  is mushrooming. “Occupy Keremeos” is going to happen in Memorial Park, and the spearheading issue is the farmworkers campground issue, which started with me.”

Mayor Despot then made a request to Kennedy to keep topic matter to council business of the evening, but Kennedy refused to give the floor. As the mayor banged his gavel on the desk for order, Kennedy continued.

“You spoke of Apple Day  and the politicians who attended,” he said to Councillor Bauer.

“You didn’t mention that my mother, Flo Winfrey, was also there.

The idea of moving the museum house to the Grist Mill was mine – I was the one who came up with the idea of moving the museum to the Grist Mill. Do not slip in to a council meeting that it was Elef Christensen’s idea – that was my idea.”

The mayor responded that the idea was not new, and had been discussed for many years by museum society members.

“That idea has been going on for a long time,” the mayor said.

Kennedy continued to disagree. The mayor eventually asked CAO Taylor to call the RCMP, at which point Kennedy departed council chambers.

As he left, Kennedy warned council that they were going to “See a revolution in the next while. You’ll hear from all of us,” he said.

Last Monday night was  not the first time the police have been called over Kennedy’s confrontations during council meetings.He is also no stranger to other conflicts with the village.

The councillor candidate for the Nov. 19 civic election  filed a Notice of Claim against the Village of Keremeos and then CAO Joni Heinrich in small claims court on June 24 of this year.

The notice states the following:

“The claimant entered into an agreement  with  the defendant for the  claimant to construct a building on or about November 27, 2007, for the agreed price of $179,550. During the construction, there was additional work that the claimant did perform that the defendant did agree was necessary and for which they promised to pay, that on or about October 26, 2008 the claimant delivered to the defendant an invoice for the additional work in the sum of $55,555. The claimant has demanded payment and the defendant has neglected and / or refused to pay. The claimant by these proceedings agrees to reduce his claim against the defendant to the sum of $25,000 net of any offset that the defendant may be entitled to.”

The matter stems from a dispute Kennedy had with the village over final payment for his work in constructing the Infocentre in 2008.

Then CAO Joni Heinrich recently left the Village of Keremeos for another position in Chase, B.C., in late August.













Just Posted

Penticton cyclist injured in hit-and-run in critical condition

Jesse Birkedal was injured in a hit-and-run while cycling on Eastside Road

Vehicle smashes sign and cars in Summerland school parking lot

Driver of a Ford Expedition lost control, crashing into two other vehicles

Dangerous driving in Keremeos and Vernon nets jail time

Gary Patrick Richard will serve 73 days in jail for dangerous driving and other offences

Top classic car show cruises back into Penticton

Peach City Beach Cruise runs June 21 to 23 in Penticton

Penticton pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioid treatment drugs

B.C. College of Pharmacists alleges Sunrise Pharmacy dispensed treatment drugs against rules

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Man arrested during Kelowna police stand off

Water is flooding Highway 33 in Kelowna Monday afternoon

Judas Priest rocks the Okanagan

Judas Priest is on a 32 date tour of North America

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Restrictive policies affecting labour mobility for care aides in B.C.

‘I had to take two competency exams and pay over $1,400,’ said an Okanagan care aide

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Most Read