Tyson’s Thoughts: Where’s the agendas?

It is not mandatory for the District of Port Hardy to publish their agendas online.

A strange thing happened on Tuesday.

I woke up at my usual time around 9:00 a.m., had a bowl of shredded wheat for breakfast, checked my email, and then went on the District of Port Hardy’s website to see what was going to be discussed at council later that night.

To my surprise, no one had posted the April 24 council agenda, nor was there an agenda posted for a committee of the whole meeting, which are usually held an hour before council meets. This was the first time in over two years that I have ever seen the agenda not posted online ahead of time.

“Strange,” I thought to myself, then went about my usual daily business on my day off. I played some video games, drove to the post office and picked up my mail, then came home and checked the district’s website again.

Still no agendas.

At this point I started to wonder if council had been cancelled entirely. There was nothing posted on their website stating it was cancelled, but there was no confirmation the meeting was going to happen, either.

To be fair, at this point I could have easily called the district and asked what was happening, but for whatever reason, the idea never crossed my mind.

Instead, I shut my phone off and went outside and enjoyed the sun all afternoon at the local skatepark.

After I got home from the park I showered, had some dinner, and then arrived at the municipal office around 6:55 p.m. only to see Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen was finishing up his quarterly report to council.

Turns out they had planned a committee of the whole meeting all along.

Council took a three minute break after the meeting ended, and I looked at my phone to see if the agendas were online yet.

They were still missing.

I informed Director of Corporate Services, Heather Nelson-Smith, that the website did not have either agenda posted, and she said she would look into it.

Well, after investigating, it turns out it is not mandatory for the District of Port Hardy to publish their agendas online whatsoever, only to have them ready to read in office by Friday afternoon.

In my opinion, this bylaw is clearly outdated and in need of cleaning up, but if the District of Port Hardy doesn’t want to embrace the digital age by making agendas published online mandatory, that’s their prerogative.

Do you want to know what was discussed at the committee of the whole? Here’s the three things that were listed on the agenda:

C. STAFF REPORTS

1. Heather Nelson-Smith, Director Corporate Services (Apr.4/18) re: Short Term

Vacation Rentals / AirBnb. For information;

2. Allison McCarrick, CAO re: Telus Update;

D. DELEGATION

1. RCMP Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen re: Quarterly Report to Council, January to

March 2018;

RCMP stats: January – March 2018

RCMP stats: January – March 2017.

Heather’s report on short term vacation rentals/AirBnB was just for information and included a written report, whereas Allison’s Telus update had no written report attached whatsoever, which I’m guessing means it was a late addition.

I asked at the council meeting what the Telus update exactly was and Allison told me it had to do with Telus “kiosks” in town. Apparently the “kiosks” will be wrapped with a history theme.

I asked if there was any discussion of “fibre” during the meeting, and Allison told me she had “no update for you on that.”

Back in November, I broke the story that 313 homes in the district had not had Telus Fibre Optic installed. Telus was supposed to redesign the ninth fibre serving area in January, come to an agreement with the town, and then build soon after that once summer arrived.

April is now almost over and residents are still waiting for an official update. How long do the 313 homes have to wait to find out what is happening? Your guess is as good as mine.

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