CORNER BROOK A new policy at Corner Brook City Council was adopted Monday night, but not before tensions ran high.
Coun. Gary Kelly was eventually cut off from speaking against the policy, which aims to regulate the use of mobile devices by council and staff, by Mayor Neville Greeley, who stated Kelly was out of line.
Kelly asked a series of questions that highlighted some percieved loopholes in the policy and potential areas for security breaches, such as with web-based email, flash drives and public Wi-Fi access.
Greeley said Kelly was asking questions about the policy, but failed to propose any amendments, going in circles with discussion.
The argument got heated when he said he broached security topics several times before with council, to avail.
“Mr. Mayor,” Kelly stated at the council meeting. “I have tried, repeatedly, to have this discussion. It was called silly and, at one point in time, crap.”
The device policy aims to set baseline standards for securing information on technological devices and make city staff members are aware of confidentiality.
Greeley said the policy is supposed to be a start to bringing security issues to light.
“As time goes on we can make amendments to that policy. But we need to get a policy in place,” Greeley said. “It may not be all things to all people. It’s not intended to be a Big Brother.”
Kelly said he was deeply disappointed in the policy that was brought forth to council Monday night.
“Total security is much more than what is indicated in the policy,” Kelly said. “The policy does not reflect reality.”
The policy states that councillors may have to carry an extra device for city matters. For some councillors, that will tally three personal devices, after one for personal use and another for work purposes.
Kelly said his personal iPhone can operate at the same security level as a device given to him from the city, and can be used with the same discretion.
He said using his own device has saved taxpayers $1,600 to $2,000 since he was elected a year and a half ago.
Kelly said the B.Y.O.D (bring your own device) plan is a progressive program being piloted in the province that he would like to see adopted at city hall.
“My concern with using a personal device is the city has no control over it,” Coun. Donna Luther, who voted in favour of the policy.
“Nowhere else in a major organization can you use your own personal device that I’m aware of.”
Ultimately, the policy was adopted 4-2, with councillors Kelly and Linda Chaisson voting against it.