Quesnel City Council attempted to address “the elephant in the room” at last night’s meeting…specifically the relationship between Council and the Cariboo Regional District’s northern Directors when it comes to Joint Planning.
The discussion , to say the least, was very frank at times.
Mayor Bob Simpson…
“There is such a gross inequity in the burden that city taxpayers carry for what are clearly regional assets that a 10 thousand dollar contribution to the visitor centre or gas tax contribution to sub regional rec should not be viewed by Council as thank you so much for that.”
Simpson went on to say that 10 thousand dollars is not that helpful when the City taxpayers have paid 6 1/2 million dollars for just the airport, soccer, the visitor centre and the museum over the last 10 years.
The City and the CRD govern differently which is something else that the City would like see changed.
Simpson says it’s time for the Provincial Government to give the CRD the autonomy it deserves…
“They don’t even set their mill rate, that is set by the province. They can’t tax without going to referendum, they don’t have the autonomy that a local gov ought to have.”
Council voted to send that motion to the province as well as a motion to have it look at the overall issue.
Another beef that was aired last night was the voting system for the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee.
Right now 2 CRD Directors out of 4 can prevent a motion from going forward which means the vote would potentially fail even if all City Councillors were in favor and the overall vote was 9 to 2 in favor.
Council unanimously voted in favor at creating a new terms of reference for Joint Planning when it comes to what they already govern together.
The idea is that it would then be easier to put more things on the table.
The next time the two groups will meet is on the 14th.
Three of the four northern CRD Directors were in the room last night.