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Little reprimanded for interfering with city staff

Councillor caught in compost kerfuffle

By CHRIS WINDEYER

Iqaluit city councillor Jim Little stands accused of mixing politics with compost.

Little received a letter of reprimand from the city's mayor, Elisapee Sheutiapik, and deputy mayor, Al Hayward, for interfering with city staff at the Iqaluit dump.

The letter, written April 13, says Little asked Darcy Reist, manager of the city‘s landfill, to store compost in part of the landfill not used for that purpose.

"This was not authorized by council nor was this approved by the director of the public works department (Mark Hall)," the letter reads. "This is a violation of your role and responsibility as a councillor for the city of Iqaluit. We ask that behaviour like this cease and desist immediately."

Sheutiapik and Hayward cite a section of the city's anti-harassment policy and allege Little unreasonably interfered with a city employee's work.

As a member of the Bill Mackenzie Humanitarian Society, Little picks up compost from about 100 green bins around the city and drops it off at the dump. During the winter, the pile is frozen and covered in snow.

In an email, Little said snow had left the pile inaccessible, so he and Reist decided to temporarily store compost in a bin separate from the pile but nearby.

Little wrote that he later got a phone call from Reist who told him Hall had rejected the placement of compost outside the pile. Little said he then asked Reist if he'd be willing to appear at a meeting of the solid waste steering committee.

"(Reist) said he would but needed to get approval from (Hall)," Little wrote. "I agreed that was proper procedure but made it clear I (was) just asking to see if he was willing/available if we needed him. And that was that."

The reprimand also rapped Little's knuckles for asking Reist to attend that meeting.

"This request was not made through proper channels and has been denied by (Reist's) supervisor (Hall). As you are well aware, the solid waste steering committee has senior city resource staff as part of the committee composition," the letter from Sheutiapik and Hayward reads.

But Little insists he wasn't up to anything suspicious.

"How twisted this letter is," he wrote. "I am being accused of harassment because of a phone call I did not initiate."

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