It took a threat to call the police to stop a Creston resident from continuing to disrupt the April 12 regular town council meeting.
The incident followed a one-hour budget presentation by finance director Steffan Klassen. As Mayor Ron Toyota moved to other items on the agenda, Alois Pistecky stood and moved toward the centre of council chambers from his seat in the public gallery.
Pistecky started to speak and Toyota instructed him to take a seat and wait for question period at the end of the meeting. Despite several admonitions from Toyota, Pistecky continued to speak. Coun. Jim Elford and Creston Fire Rescue Chief Mike Moore rose to stand beside Pistecky and encourage him to return to his seat or leave the building. Pistecky started to move toward the door several times, then moved back toward councillors’ desks, at one point handing papers to two councillors.
As a final act of protest, the purpose of which was unrevealed at the time, he handed a small gift bag to Toyota.
“I told you I would bring you a gift,” he said.
“Alois, I told you I will not accept any gifts,” Toyota replied.
At that point, town manager Lou Varela approached Pistecky and again encouraged him to leave, offering to go outside council chambers and talk to him privately. It was only when she said the police would be called in to remove him that Pistecky left, bidding everyone a good day.
Toyota said the next day that Pistecky had approached him several times looking for help in personal legal issues that have no connection to Town of Creston business. The gift Pistecky left was three used neckties.
“He has seen me wearing a tie with a Tabasco sauce theme and accused me of being paid to advertise,” Toyota said. “I wore it at the Ask the Mayor meeting at the library on Saturday and Alois said he was going to bring some ties that he doesn’t wear anymore.”
•Klassen presented a draft five-year financial plan as required by the Community Charter. Council later passed three readings of the plan, with opposition only from Coun. Kevin Boehmer, who requested his no votes be recorded.
•Funding from the BC Rural Dividend program will be applied for if Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) area A, B and C directors, along with Kootenay Employment Services and the Lower Kootenay Band (LKB), agree to partner with the town’s application.
•Representatives from Kootenay Rockies Tourism, Destination BC and Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training will be invited make a presentation on tourism planning and hotel taxes to a committee of the whole meeting. Also, invitation to attend will be extended to the LKB, Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce, Kootenay Lake Chamber of Commerce and directors for RDCK areas A, B and C.
•Use of the property south of Millennium Park for Blossom Festival events on May 21 was approved.
•Extended hours of use and waver of the $150 booking fee for a teen dance in Millennium Park on May 20 were approved.
•Toyota will represent Creston at the BC Mayors’ Caucus in Fort St. John from May 1-3.
•Advertising in the Creston Valley Thunder Cats program and on the arena wall was approved in the amount of $1,625.
•A two-year renewal of a contract for growing crops on town land near the waste water treatment plant was approved. The agreement allows for sewage sludge to be spread on the land as needed. In 2015, the town also received $3,920 from the harvest.
•A zoning amendment application for 227 12th Ave. N. to designate the property as commercial has been withdrawn.
•A requirement that new construction include provision for future installation of water meters will be brought forth in an amendment to the water rates and regulations bylaw. Discussions about water meter installation in all properties will be deferred until “water system loss management data has improved and the water master plan is updated.”
•Moore presented council with a March activity report. During that period, the department responded to 38 emergency incidents, four false fire calls, 31 first responder calls, one hazardous material incident and two motor vehicle incidents.
•The town will write a letter of support to the RDCK for borrowing and grant applications for funds to complete the upgrade of the Arrow Creek water system’s main line. If the project is to be done with no grants, the town’s share of the project would be $800,000 and council agreed that a referendum would be held for permission to borrow that amount.