Money for more councillors could be better used

By on January 9, 2018

Dear Editor:

I begin by agreeing with a recent editorial in the Osoyoos Times, lauding the job that mayor and council have done over the past three plus years.

The time demand on each of the elected officials is not commensurate with the remuneration that each receives on an annual basis.

Fast forward to the idea being floated by council to increase the elected councillors from four to six. This would constitute a governing body of seven people for a community of some 5,000 people.

This would seem a somewhat overreaction to a specific problem of having an informed quorum to pass any given proposal placed before the council.

While I can empathize with those council members that find themselves in the dilemma of personal vs. official duty demands, I would make the following observations and recommendations.

Several years ago our town had a councillor who was elected to council and happened to be a knowledgeable businessperson who travelled extensively for a major part of the year.

In order to overcome this justified absence, council was provided with electronic access to the councillor so the councillor could attend and vote on an informed basis as if they were in the council chambers.

Given the advances made through the internet with email, texting and Skype, there is no reason that under the circumstances of a required absence of any member of council, that an informed discussion and vote cannot take place, no matter where they are.

Last and most importantly, other than an unexpected demand that a council member be absent, that person should not be running for council. While the remuneration is meagre, they know what time demand is required of them going in.

The estimated cost of some $50,000 for two additional councillors would repair a lot of potholes or better still could be put towards our huge policing cost increase.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to express my views.

Derek Noske

Osoyoos, B.C.

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