Municipal leaders push for early dismissal from board meetings

Some politicians from Summerland, Penticton think time better spent not sitting through portions of meetings during which they don't vote

Andrew Jakubeit

Andrew Jakubeit

Some municipal representatives on the regional district board think their time could be better spent not sitting through stretches of meetings during which they don’t have a vote on anything.

The business of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen board is split two ways: rural matters, on which only directors from the eight electoral areas can vote; and corporate issues, on which the rural directors and their 10 colleagues from member municipalities all vote.

Rural issues usually take up the first half of board meetings, which are held twice a month and last about two hours, followed by corporate business. All 18 directors also sit on five standing committees that meet prior to the board meetings.

That legislative structure was up for review at a committee meeting last week, and while most directors agreed the system is working, some think the board meetings should be rejigged so rural matters are dealt with last and municipal directors, if they want, can leave when their votes are done.

“I think that would be a lot more suitable for some of us who have to sit through two hours of debate… (to get to) five minutes of the last corporate votes we’re interested in,” said Andrew Jakubeit, a Penticton city councillor and RDOS director.

Summerland Mayor Janice Perrino agreed.

“We’re all living very, very busy lives. Many of us are doing three, four jobs,” she said. “To be honest with you, I could really use the hour and a half for other work.”

But Garry Litke, another Penticton city councillor and RDOS director, noted rural matters in surrounding areas like Naramata or the West Bench often impact his city, even though he doesn’t get to vote on them.

“I think municipal directors should be sitting here through that debate just because it helps provide that entire environmental scan,” he said.

Following 45 minutes of discussion, a motion to leave the legislative structure unchanged was defeated by a 9-8 vote. RDOS staff will now investigate the possibility of restructuring board meeting agendas.

Directors then gave preliminary approval to bylaw tweaks that cover their pay and expenses, including a change that will provide for pay at a reduced rate for attending meetings via teleconference.

The scale in place now pays directors $142 per board meeting and $47 per same-day committee meeting, but total pay for meeting days is capped at $284.

Last Thursday, five committee meetings were scheduled between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and the board meeting was scheduled from 1-3 p.m.

Meeting money is paid out on top of a regular monthly honorarium of $317 for municipal directors and $1,095 for rural directors. All remuneration and expense amounts are adjusted annually for cost of living increases.

In 2011, the last year for which data is available, total compensation for the board’s salaries and expenses hit $449,559.

The board also budgeted $16,968 this year for meeting-day lunches, condiments and supplies.

 

Just Posted

Justin Fotherby,17, and Ashley McMillan, 17 have been chosen for an invitation only competition that sees 20 of Canada’s top swimmers per event vying for a spot at the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Submitted)
Penticton swimmers off to Olympic trials

The pair are eyeing a spot on the Canadian team heading to the Tokyo Olympics

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read