Citizen committee to lead governance review

Saanich mayor opposes decision, saying community associations representatives should be included on committee

Saanich council moved forward to create a 13-person Governance Review Citizen Advisory Committee on Monday night.

The plan for the new committee was drawn up in a report by CitySpaces Consulting. Council voted 8-1 in favour of the report’s five recommendations while adding a few amendments, such as adding two members from the Saanich Community Associations Network.

Mayor Richard Atwell was disappointed that the governance review report showed up on the agenda following his regular pre-council meeting with staff the Thursday previous.

The mayor was the only one to vote against it, believing that a standing committee of himself, Coun. Colin Plant and Rob Wickson, president of the Gorge Tillicum Community Association, was to have a greater role in the process.

“[Monday’s] public input showed it is [especially] helpful when things are put on the agenda at the last minute,” Atwell said, referring to the residents who spoke their opinions prior to the agenda item.

Coun. Vic Derman, expressed a need for diversity that goes beyond local community associations.

“It needs to be a broad [reaching] selection to prevent a situation where five or six members could set their own agenda,” Derman said.

The goal is to have anonymous applications for the Governance Review Committee positions. Staff will receive the applications and black out the names on the résumés.

The committee members will be selected by a 10-person focus group made up of members on Saanich advisory committees, as per the consultant recommendation.

The governance review committee will spend a year meeting with residents, Saanich-based stakeholder groups, Saanich committees, Saanich staff, CRD and other municipalities.

“It is trying to have people with unbiased skill sets, and for me it’ll be an onerous task if you think abut the various areas that they will get into,” said Coun. Judy Brownoff.

Saanich will soon post advertisements for the committee positions.

During the 2014 municipal election some Greater Victoria communities included a question on the ballot regarding support for amalgamation.  Saanich voted 88 per cent in favour of this question: Do you support council initiating a community-based review of the governance structure and policies within Saanich and our partnerships within the region?

Coun. Susan Brice said she’s surprised how the phrase ‘governance review’ has caught on over the past 10 months.

“When we first put governance review on the ballot it was snickered at as a way to get around amalgamation, and now people are talking about governance, the province is now talking about governance,” she said.

 

Just Posted

Island Health, Victoria Hospice fund 15 more patient beds for end-of-life care at Royal Jubilee Hospital

New patient beds in hospice and acute palliative care to be in place by spring 2020

Beaches near Sidney’s Tsehum Harbour to receive first clean up in years

Peninsula Streams Society hopes to attract 50 volunteers for the Saturday event

Police impound 19 vehicles for excessive speed on Malahat

Excessive speed is classified as going more than 40 km/h over the limit in that stretch

Sidney has highest walk-in clinic wait times in the country: report

Several Vancouver Island facilities wait times notably poor

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. cities top the list for most generous in Canada on GoFundMe

Chilliwack took the number-two spot while Kamloops was at the top of the list

Penticton RCMP warn of new ‘porting’ scam that puts internet banking, online accounts at risk

Two-factor verification has been the go-to way to keep online accounts secure

Thunberg ‘a bit surprised’ to be Time ‘Person of the Year’

‘I could never have imagined anything like that happening,’ she said in a phone interview

Toronto Raptors, Don Cherry top the list of Canadians’ Google searches in 2019

‘Champions’ was the theme of the last year, Google said

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

Most Read