Wednesday, October 11, 2006

“I stand for a responsible, accountable city government..." – Don Atchison 2003 campaign brochure

“There are people out there that want to know the whole truth – nothing more, nothing less.”
(Councillor Don Atchison StarPhoenix August 14, 2001)

“You can’t be saying one thing one day and another thing another day.”
(Mayor Don Atchison StarPhoenix November 5, 2004)

‘When pressed to explain what qualities the board feels Sabo lacks or what he may have done to prompt the decision, Atchison stuck resolutely to the positive.
“For people to want to put different spins on it, I don't think is appropriate at all for the police chief. The board has said his contract will not be renewed and that's where we're at,” he said.’

(Mayor Don Atchison StarPhoenix March 3, 2006)

As a councillor in August 2001, Don Atchison criticized the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners for not providing the public with reasons why former police Chief Dave Scott was dismissed. A month earlier he had requested a vote of non-confidence in the board and the dismissal of its members – except the mayor whose position is provincially legislated.

As mayor and police board chair in March 2006, however, Don Atchison refused to provide the public with reasons why police Chief Russell Sabo’s contract was not renewed.

“We need a police commission with the Mayor as the Chair to make the commission accountable to Council directly.”
(Don Atchison response to LEAD Saskatoon questionnaire during 2003 civic election)

According to the city solicitor the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners does not report to City Council. The police board is an independent board that is not supervised by City Council. The supervisor of the Board is the Saskatchewan Police Commission, and ultimately the Minister of Justice – not City Council. The purpose of an independent Board is to act as a buffer or insulator between the police and City Council. It seems Atchison has failed to grasp this very important concept.


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