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EDITORIAL: Council break raises concerns

Regular Spallumcheen council meetings scheduled for Monday and for April 3 have been cancelled.
Spallumcheen council meetings are postponed because elected officials are absent. - Morning Star file photo

Spallumcheen council has decided to take spring break.

Regular meetings scheduled for Monday and for April 3 have been cancelled.

“The mayor (Janice Brown) is on holidays, (Coun.) Christine Fraser is on holidays and (Coun.) Christine LeMaire is still away,” said Coun. Joe Van Tienhoven. “And our new chief administrative officer doesn’t start until next Monday (March 27).”

Now everyone understands holidays, but Spallumcheen council members needed to remember that they were hired to do a job when elected to office. One of the expectations of employment is that regular meetings take place.

Some co-ordination of schedules should have occurred to ensure that two or three council members weren’t away at the same time and that quorum (four) could be met. Such procedures occur in other jurisdictions to ensure council sessions can still proceed.

Van Tienhoven states that township business is not being overlooked, but the reality is that some decisions will not occur in a timely manner because meetings have been pushed back. Also, transparency is also vital and that is difficult when activities are suspended.

As for a new chief administrative officer taking up duties March 27, yes there is a learning curve involved with a new job, but the existing township staff are still there and they can help council move ahead with agenda items.

Hopefully this extended break is just a one-off and council will consider constituents’ interests in the future.

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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