To members of Sooke Council:
At a recent meeting of Sooke Council, the Corporate Services Director stated that it was Administration that introduced the current practice of charging members of the public for Agenda Packages. Since April 22, 2016 this practice has been in effect. This decision by Administration has caused Sooke Council to be in contravention of Section 17 of Bylaw 422, Council Procedure Bylaw. This Section states at part (3):
(3) The Corporate Officer must make the agenda available to the members of Council and the public by 4:30 pm on the Thursday prior to the meeting and by
(a) placing a copy of the agenda in each member’s mailbox at the Municipal Hall, and
(b) placing copies for the public at the public service counter at the Municipal Hall.
The policy set by Council from the beginning was in keeping with the above statements which make no mention of a fee. Members of the public were indeed able to pick up a package, from the shelf.
- Firstly, staff from Administration has no authority to change a policy set by Council. They may recommend a policy change, but must not enact one.
- Secondly, staff has no authority to amend a District Bylaw.
- Thirdly, if there is to be a change, notice must be posted that a change is to be made, and Council must make the change by resolution.
One would hope, of course, that some debate driven by careful consideration would take place prior to any decision. At least the public should have an opportunity to measure the thought process of those who govern us, and to observe their vote.
As the policy amendment involved the imposition of a fee, the public has the right to expect that prior to the next meeting, Agenda packages will be available to us, minus the improper fee now in place.
Next Council Meeting: Special Council Meeting August 29, 2016
- Nov 28 Takeaways: Financial Plan discussions cancelled, calls for more victim services funding, and oh so much more
- Takeaways Oct 11, 2016: No UBCM report; fire equipment expenditure (previously removed) now approved
- September 12 Council Meeting Takeaways
- District of Sooke quietly hosts Special Meeting
- SPN Takeaways: Regular Sooke Council Meeting, July 11, 2016
- SPN Takeaways: June 27, 2016 Regular Council Meeting
- SPN Takeaways: Regular Council Meeting Monday June 13, 2016
- SPN Takeaways, Regular Council Meeting May 24, 2016
- SPN Takeaways of the May 9 COW and Council Meetings
- Why keeping an eye on municipal council matters. A lot. SPN observation from March 14 Council meeting
- SPN Takeaways from the April 25 Council Meeting
- SPN take-aways from the April 11 Council meeting; Kasper returns CRD Director position to Tait
- Mar 29 Council Meeting – SPN takeaways
- Regular Council meeting displayed fine example of the money-shuffle spin, March 14 SPN Takeaways