Quesnel Council -Photo: Ghenderson, MyCaribooNow
Council voted 6-1 in favour of rescinding a motion that says outright that it won’t meet with unelected alternates.
But as Mayor Bob Simpson explains, the city can still assert its authority in the room if it isn’t comfortable with meeting with alternates, or if there is a particularly sensitive topic…
“Council can just vote to not go in-camera, or Council can vote to adjourn the meeting or not meet, so if there are circumstances that are uncomfortable for us, we are empowered to not meet in that moment.”
Simpson says that gets staff out of the trap of trying to find a date when all of the Northern CRD Directors can meet.
Councillor Tony Goulet voted against the motion to rescind…
“I too looked at the meeting dates and knew what they were going into this, and as I said at the meeting on Monday night, being elected to two positions, know the time commitment right. I know alternates are legislated and they are mandated, it just isn’t right for me. If you want to be part of the process put your name on the ballot right, not come in, as was said, come through the back door and be an alternate to somebody who was on the ballot.”
Others felt the same way, but decided in the end that the need to actually meet with the CRD Directors was more important.
Council will also discuss the issue further prior to an upcoming meeting between the Mayor, the CRD Chair, the two North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Vice-Chairs and senior staff.
They will attempts at that meeting to get an accord with respect to a terms of reference and meeting norms.
City Manager Byron Johnson noted as well that the CRD would be taking the alternate Director issue to the CRD’s policy committee to possibly set some parameters around the usage of alternates which may help to alleviate some of Council’s concerns.
Finally, Council has also decided to air it’s concerns and present a resolution on alternates at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention in September.