Hamilton's police services board is postponing its meeting a second time over the city's appointment of Coun. Lloyd Ferguson to the board.
The Hamilton Police Services board, comprised of provincial and city appointees, was scheduled to meet on June 17. That meeting was postponed until July 3. Now it's being postponed again.
At issue is the legality of the city appointing Coun. Lloyd Ferguson of Ancaster on June 12 to sit on the board. Ferguson was appointed to temporarily replace Coun. Terry Whitehead, who is suspended pending an investigation by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.
City lawyers say Ferguson can legally sit on the board, citing a provincial law called Legislation Act.
But the board says it received a letter from David Gavsie, associate chair of the commission, on June 28. Gavsie's letter, the board said in a statement, strongly urged it "not address the city's request and allow the commission time to receive the legal opinion."
Once the commission receives and reviews the opinion, it will give the board direction, the statement said.
The board never challenged Ferguson's appointment, DiGregorio said in an email to CBC Hamilton last week. He received his agenda package the same as other board members in June. But the board's lawyer advised to wait for a legal opinion from the commission.
Ferguson told CBC Hamilton last week that he's looking forward to moving on from this and focus "on governance rather than drama."
It's been a tense year between city council and the police services board. First, they faced off over a budget increase. Other issues have included Whitehead's suspension and a previous motion by Coun. Sam Merulla asking for the city to gain total control over the police.
In June, the board issued a statement that quoted a Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services advisor as saying that Ferguson's appointment was "not lawful." Merulla has asked for a formal apology.
The agenda for the next meeting includes a $286,491 budget variance in 2012 and $26,000 in improvements to the mobile police museum.