Friday, September 16, 2011

Yesterday's CRD "Committee of the Whole" Meeting

Yesterday - the Cariboo Regional District held a Committee of the Whole meeting in Williams Lake and while many subjects were discussed, some interesting topics for discussion included:

a) 3 Hour review of the proposed Directors' Renumeration Policy by Area 'L' Director Bruce Rattray - after an exhaustive discussion, the Board made decisions around what should be in or out of the proposed Policy and the new Policy will come forward for a formal decision in October

b) By a 11-2 vote - the CRD Board agreed to adopt a new Code of Conduct and Ethics (Code).  But prior to adoption - both Area 'B' Director Roberta Faust and Area 'D' Director Deb Bischoff expressed their strong reservation and opposition to this initiative.  In fact - Director Bischoff stated that she would refuse to sign it.  That is when Area 'L' Director Bruce Rattray clarified that signing it indicated that you received a copy of the Code and understood its' contents and no real legal basis (ie: the Code, itself, is not a contract).  Meanwhile - Director Faust suggested that adoption of the Code would somehow take away the power of the electorate.  CRD Chair Al Richmond stepped in and reminded her that this was a "workplace policy" and it was to ensure a healthy workplace - both for CRD Staff and Directors - and explained, in his own experience, a well crafted "workplace policy" leads to a healthy place to come and work.  Director Faust attempted to defer further consideration until she could hear from her constituents, however she could not draw a seconder.

Editor's Note - I'm glad the majority of the CRD Board yesterday drew courage to adopt the Code and I think that other local governments will look at this and say "Better to get ahead of the curve" then to deal with the consequences of a "toxic workplace"

c) The Board has adopted a new Election Communications Policy but the CRD CAO (J. Bell) add to the proposed Policy that "but where authorized by Board Policy" as it is routine at this time of year to hand out "Grants for Assistance" cheques, where CRD Policy states that a photo-op be provided.  All in all - the policy was the right one for the Board to pass

d) The Board passed the following policy (Non-Partisan Procedure for Elections):

That all CRD services and their volunteer members be non-partisan and that neither the volunteer members of the service nor any person(s), whether a current incumbent or a new candidate, use the service, its membership or its influence within the community for the purpose of promoting the candidacy of any person or party seeking public office or preferment. Volunteers are private citizens and may support their candidate or party as a private citizen, but not while displaying any logo, uniform or insignia belonging to a CRD service.”

I'm glad to see this as I've heard of issues in CRD Areas 'B' and 'D' with their elections in 2008

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