Sooke mayor’s husband confronts councillor

An argument between the husband of Sooke Mayor Maja Tait and Coun. Rick Kasper over who should be the district’s Capital Regional District director turned so heated, it was investigated by the police

“In this regard, I think, my husband was just more of an angry constituent who was disappointed in his elected official and wanted to tell him that,” Tait said Wednesday.

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She said she was home the night in question when her husband got up and left and went to the municipal hall.

Alex Tait, a lawyer, waited until Kasper came outside following a brief in-camera session and then apparently confronted him, Maja Tait said.

“They had an exchange. My husband told him what he thought of him,” she said.

The incident occurred outside the municipal hall following a March 23 special council meeting. Police were not there, but were notified later about the incident and interviewed Kasper and Alex Tait, said Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur.

No charges were laid and the file has been closed, he said.

Alex Tait said he had no comment.

Kasper would offer no comment — not even confirming or denying the incident occurred.

Asked why, the usually media-friendly politician said: “It’s just the way Rick Kasper is. On certain matters, I don’t comment.”

Maja Tait, who returned to her mayoral duties April 1 following a maternity leave, said she only heard of the incident secondhand, but believes it stemmed from frustration she expressed to her husband about the fact that her council appointed Kasper as CRD director while she was away on maternity leave.

Tait plans to bring the dispute over who should be the CRD representative, with its $17,000 annual stipend, back before Sooke councillors on Monday.

At Sooke council’s inaugural meeting, a resolution was passed appointing Tait as the CRD director and Kasper as her alternate for the term, which means until the next municipal election year, Tait said.

“On Nov. 30, at a special council meeting, there was a new business item brought forward out of the blue by the acting mayor [Kevin Pearson] requesting that because I’m on mat leave that interim appointments be made,” she said.

Councillors named Kasper as director and Coun. Bev Berger as the alternate.

Tait said she became frustrated in talking to councillors, some of whom are now of the opinion that the interim appointments are permanent.

“Interim is not permanent and you did this without even talking to me about it,” she said. “So naturally I’m surprised and a little bit hurt at the same time.”

Tait said it doesn’t seem appropriate that her maternity leave would be used as a reason to cancel her appointment to the board.

“I feel a bit betrayed by this and surprised.”

As for the CRD appointment, Kasper said he would abide by council’s decision. “None of us own these positions and it’s entirely up to council.”

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

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