An attempt to streamline the meeting agenda for the Regional District of North Okanagan board has failed.
A resolution to delegate greater authority to several committees to remove redundancy in board resolution voting and allow more time for debate on issues affecting all stakeholders was voted 9-5 in favour, but fell short of the two-thirds majority vote required for adoption.
The committees directly affected by the move would have been the Electoral Area Advisory Committee, Greater Vernon Advisory Committee, Regional Growth Management Advisory Committee, White Valley Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee, and the Audit Committee.
Some board directors expressed misgivings about not having an opportunity to be updated at board meetings about all issues being addressed at the committee level, of having the opportunity for a “sober second thought” before resolutions are given final adoption.
Others suggested board meetings take up an excessive amount of time voting on issues that don’t directly concern all regional stakeholders.
David Sewell, RDNO chief administrative officer, said the initiative was an attempt to eliminate the need for rubber-stamp voting on some committee resolutions, particularly those where not all regional board stakeholders have a vote.
“It’s not about having less meetings. It is about meetings being more effective regarding issues of interest to all directors,” Sewell said.
Rick Fairbairn, Electoral Area D director, voiced concerns that information related to committee resolutions won’t be designated to board members in a timely manner, leaving them outside the flow of information about what’s happening across there regional district.
Lumby director Kevin Acton raised the example of the pickleball facility upgrade being addressed by the GVAC, saying that the matter doesn’t directly involve his community, it is of interest to Lumby pickleball players.
“There are a lot of issues that all stakeholders may not have a vote on but do have connections to different communities across the region,” he said.
Sewell said efforts to enhance communication between the various committees and regional board members could help alleviate those concerns.
Mike Macnabb, electoral area C director, felt trying to fix an existing broken meeting structure system was a step worth taking.
“Communication protocols can be solved. Let’s just start the process, see how it works and correct the faults as they are identified,” Macnabb said.