E-mails acknowledged

There are growing demands at the Regional District of North Okanagan that e-mail not simply be ignored or deleted.

There are growing demands at the Regional District of North Okanagan that e-mail not simply be ignored or deleted.

Director Doug Dirk wants a process that forces elected officials and staff to formally respond to people who send them e-mails, even if it’s a simple thank you.

“The public wants to know it’s received and not lost in the e-mail world,” he said of their correspondence.

Dirk has garnered support from director Catherine Lord, who says more people are relying on e-mail than writing traditional letters.

“If we don’t acknowledge those, we’re lost with the new technology,” she said.

“Just let people know that it’s been received.”

The regional district will look at options for providing a consistent response to e-mails received, but some officials admit the process could be overwhelming.

“I’d love to respond to every one of them but time is not available,” said chairperson Rick Fairbairn, who says he receives about 1,000 e-mails a month.

“With the important ones that need a response, I respond or some I refer to a manager. Some I have to make a judgement on about responding.”