PORT HARDY—The newly elected mayor and councillors got down to business proper last week as Port Hardy Council held its first regular meeting.
But it was the method of conducting that business which drew the most discussion as council examined the protocol around appointments.
“After consultation with Council members, Mayor (Hank) Bood has provided staff with his recommendations for appointments to the Regional District of Mount Waddington Board of Directors, Regional District of Mount Waddington Hospital Board and Vancouver Island Library Board of Trustees,” read the background in the accompanying Staff Report.
With a motion on the table to adopt the suggested appointments, councillor Fred Robertson took the opportunity to query the process.
“As I was going through the Community Charter and the local Community Act I saw that the mayor was charged and responsible for designating or appointing to and establishing standard committees,” said coun. Robertson. “I did not see anywhere after that where appointments to outside committees was the responsibility of the mayor.”
Robertson pointed out that he had no issue with the nominations, but wanted to clarify the process whereby appointments were made.
“If someone is representing our council… they should be appointed by this council.”
Coun. John Tidbury explained that the purpose of the motion on the floor was to gain council’s backing. “It’s all of council that votes for committees, so that’s why the mayor is asking for that vote of confidence — because he has asked for these individuals to be in these positions.”
“Councillor Robertson, I think your point is well made,” said the mayor. “This is a recommendation. If Council decides that these appointments are not the ones they want, this is the time to make that heard.”
The motion to accept the recommendations was carried.
“I’m pretty happy with that discussion,” said Mayor Bood. “As you all know, I’d like our discussions to be open and vibrant and that’s a good start.”
Council meeting dates
Council also approved its schedule for the upcoming year with a single amendment.
Regular council meetings are typically scheduled for the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.
After coun. Pat Corbett-Labatt pointed out that several councillors would be unavailable for the January 27 meeting, council agreed to move that meeting forward by a day and accept the amended schedule.
Other exceptions take place in July and August, with a single meeting during the summer months on the 14th and 11th respectively. September will see a single meeting on the 8th to accommodate the Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference later in the month.
December also has only one meeting, scheduled on the 8th, reflecting the Christmas break.
The first meeting of 2015 will take place January 13.