EDITORIAL: Councillors would benefit from more meeting reports

The Northern Sentinel's editor weighs in on the need for more extensive council reports at meetings.

Corinne Scott zeroed in on a subject I’ve long quietly thought about, so I was entirely impressed when it came up at last week’s council meeting.

And that has to do with Council appointees to the town’s various sub-committees, or other groups that allow councillors a seat.

Here’s the situation; in an at-times hard to follow debate about the Kitimat Housing Committee last week, while councillors were in the midst of debating amending the group’s terms of reference and their current mandate, Scott brought up the fact that councillors should be providing fellow councillors reports from their attendance at

sub-committees.

As a refresher, because it’s actually something I at times forget, when a new council is sworn in, or around that time, the mayor will name council appointments to various sub-committees that deal with a particular mandate. That Housing Committee, for example was formed by council, and councillor Edwin Empinado is the primary council representative to that board.

Now, reporting to council on these does happen, but it feels infrequent. Scott, who, among other groups, is council’s representative to our regional district (obviously the RD is not a council committee, but communities get to appoint their representatives to them) has updated council  about the goings on there before.

And while it may have been awhile since I have seen Empinado make an actual report, I have seen him put forward motions that came out of discussions at the committee level.

But then there’s things like the Kitimat Health Advocacy Group, the Kitimat Literacy Program, the Interagency Committee, the Age Friendly Committee, and the Traffic Committee, all places councillors have a seat, but we rarely get the updates on what happens week to week or month to month.

(In fairness though, some of these don’t meet all that often. Also, I don’t personally see the public’s need to get reports from the Theatre Advisory Committee. My apologies for anyone offended by that.)

If you listen carefully you can hear councillors bring up ideas they’ve heard from these, but otherwise it’s hard to realize exactly what they’ve done.

And with sitting for two hours each Monday being a relatively small part of their job I’m sure, I bet others would back me in saying it’d be nice to hear more about what councillors have done and seen. It’s an effective way to gain context and understanding to the eventual decisions they have to make.

Cameron Orr

Just Posted

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

Kitimat registers biggest drop in property assessments

The residential property in the north with the highest value was $2.892 million

Former mayor Ray Brady passes away

“What I can say is that he was passionate about his beliefs and he would fight for them.”

CDC’s housing section looking for new home

CDC executive director says it has until Jan. 31 to move out.

Shames Mountain named one of the world’s Top 10 ski resorts

The UK magazine listed Shames alongside Whistler and hills in Italy, Japan and Austria

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Kelowna West byelection called for Feb. 14

Four candidate race to replace departed former B.C. premier Christy Clark

Northwest husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

BC Ambulance presented each a Vital Link Award for administering CPR

Bank of Canada hikes interest rate to 1.25%, cites strong economic data

The rate increase is expected to prompt Canada’s large banks to raise their prime lending rates

Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by Canadian immigrant

“This is a good example, I think, that will be helpful to change views about immigration. And maybe for Mr. Trump himself to consider immigrants as contributors to advancing science, advancing our societies.”

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

The rival Koreas took major steps toward reducing their bitter animosity

Canada, U.S. lead call for sanctions against North Korea

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces engagement

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh engaged to clothing designer Gurkiran Kaur

Hijab-cutting case highlights ethical issues with putting kids in spotlight

A Toronto police investigation has concluded a girl’s hijab was not cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school

Most Read