Penticton council sets policy for delegations

City brings forward policies on dealing with public hearings and delegations

When it comes to listening to the public, Penticton city council now has some defined procedures for how that interaction is to take place.

Karen Burley, the city’s corporate officer, brought forward two policies to council this week, one dealing with public hearings and the other with delegations to council.

Procedures for delegations were embedded in other policies, said Burley, there wasn’t anything definitive describing the process for getting on the agenda to speak to council.

“Often I would get a phone call on the day of the council meeting and someone would want to speak on something. It would be frustrating when I would have to try to explain the process,” said Burley.

That process, she said, now includes an application form.

In the past, Burley explained, she has had requests from people who refuse to say what their delegation wants to address with council. Others have wanted to bring items before council that are outside the city’s jurisdiction, like disputes between neighbours.

“This formalizes the process a little more in terms of the public speaking to council. Primarily what it does is by having the public fill out an application form, it allows council to have the presentation in advance of the meeting so they can properly consider the topic,” said Burley. “It also ensures the topics being presented are within council’s scope of authority.”

The new policy also limits delegations to four and sets out deadlines for getting on the next council agenda  — 1 p.m. the prior Wednesday — and for those wishing to respond to a delegation already on the agenda — 9:30 a.m. Monday to be considered for the late agenda.

“Four is more of a magic number for people just wanting to come to council to talk about matters. It just helps to better manage the agenda,” said Burley, who explains that it would be very unusual to receive four requests to speak on a new topic.

“But absolutely, if there is a topic that is creating a lot of activity in the community, council would not want to deny them the opportunity to speak.”

The new delegation policy also gives Burley the authority to refuse repeat delegations that are not offering any new information. In those cases, she would circulate the delegation’s brief to council, who would have the opportunity to choose to hear the delegation.

“We always use our best judgment with that kind of stuff too. Nobody wants to be rigid with rules, but you have to have a bit of a process,” said Burley. “That is why we are encouraging people to provide a written brief on what they want to talk about. It just keeps things in check a little bit.”

Similar adjustments have been made to the public hearing policy, setting out deadlines for correspondence and submissions to be received in order to be part of the public record. It also includes a provision for council to require a speakers’ list for larger public meetings.

Mayor Dan Ashton said that proved useful in some of the “more engaged” public hearings, helping ensure everyone had an opportunity to speak.

“As chair of the meeting we will ensure that everyone has an opportunity to get their ideas put forward,” said Ashton. “That is important in the public process for that transparency. We will make darn sure that happens even if they have to come up a couple of times.”

 

Just Posted

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

(Pixabay.com photo)
No COVID-19 baby boom in Summerland

Pandemic has not resulted in surge in births in 2020 and 2021

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

(Drive BC photo)
Vehicle incident closes Highway 3 east of Osoyoos

Drive BC says to avoid the area until the road is clear

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Most Read