Council’s Committee of the Whole (a less formal meeting structure than regular Council meeting) met at 7:00 p.m. on May 29 to discuss four issues. All except Councillor Bev Berger were present.
Here’s the bird’s eye view:
Sooke Fall Fair: Ellen Lewers presented a delegation to clear up traffic flow issues at the upcoming Sooke Fall Fair (and other events at the Community Hall). Council directed staff to look at temporarily opening up Gatewood to Grant for the 2017 Fall Fair (with a stop sign at Grant, and only a right turn allowed). Eustace would be closed for the event, and traffic needs an exit. A longer term plan would be to look at making Gatewood a more permanent road in the future. Also in the long term, the District would consider removing the boulders and replacing it with a gate so that future access for various events would be less costly.
OCP: A draft update of the Official Community Plan Review was present by Sooke Planner, Danica Rice. She forecasted that Sooke’s population will grow by 12,000 people in the next 20 years, and gave a background on city development. The document she presented was to inspire conversation, and that it certainly did, both among Councillors and the public who attended. More feedback from Councillors and the Public would be forthcoming.
Possible New Committee: A wrongly-titled Community Development and Engagement committee was considered, to look at building developments (hence the mis-fire on the title) in the community. The document will be revised based on Council and Public discussion (and probably retitled), and will go before Regular Council for consideration for adoption. One of the key functions of the committee would be to nurture positive relations.
Councillor Travel Expenses: Lastly, Council considered modifying their Travel Expenses Policy. There was lively discussion. Reay wanted to see the ICBC deductible coverage paid for by the District if any auto incidences occurred while on the road (Pearson and Kasper felt that all costs were covered in the mileage reimbursement). Reay felt alcohol should not be an excluded expenditure; Pearson and noted that society has hit a zero tolerance for paid alcohol consumption. Tait raised the question of child care costs coverage while at conferences (Tait, Reay, Pearson and Logins support what was called a leadership role, whereas Kasper noted that spouse expenses weren’t covered and the District “should leave well enough alone.”)