City committees chopped

Vernon politicians have lived up to their promise and cut bureaucracy.

The environmental, heritage, sister cities and athletic committees have been disbanded as part of a restructuring process.

“All of the work can be done under existing policies,” said Coun. Bob Spiers.

Mayor Rob Sawatzky insists the city is not implying that the work done by volunteers on  those committees wasn’t important.

If anything, Sawatzky says, the committees have done such a good job that it has allowed restructuring to occur.

“They (activities) are either imbedded in the day-to-day functions of the city or the work has been done.”

It has been suggested that the sister cities committee, which keeps Vernon in contact with communities around the world, could remain active by forming a non-profit society or develop an umbrella relationship with a group like the chamber of commerce.

Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe voted against disbanding the sister cities committee.

“The committee acts as ambassadors for Vernon and they’re all volunteers,” she said, adding that the group helped with visiting dignitaries and travellers.

“There was a greater benefit than a cost.”

As part of restructuring, the city recently created a new transportation committee, which consists of the former accessibility, parking and transportation demand management groups.

Committees that will remain are affordable housing, advisory planning, economic development, biosolids and tourism.

It’s not been determined what cost savings may accrue from restructuring the committees.

“It will redirect a lot of staff time,” said Sawatzky.


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