At the end of the October 10, 2017 regular Council Meeting, Councillor Brenda Parkinson put two motions before Council for consideration.
By this point in the meeting, only five elected official were available: Mayor Maja Tait, and Councillors Brenda Parkinson, Kevin Pearson, Rick Kasper and Bev Berger. Councillor Kerrie Reay left the meeting early, and Councillor Ebony Logins didn’t show up. This meant three votes could pass or defeat either motion.
Motion the First: THAT Council receive all information from all delegations and not make any decisions or motions on the matter at hand. That staff be instructed to provide Council with a report for the next regular Council meeting.
Parkinson noted that sometimes information is presented at a delegation, and Councillors don’t have adequate time or complete information to make an informed decision, when a motion-on-the-fly is made. She noted that this can put Council in a position they don’t want to be, especially when motions are made on delegations that don’t have complete reports or information. She acknowledged that this can cause a delay.
Pearson was opposed to the motion, stating that he doesn’t like a “blanket approach,” adding there might be cases where a decision needs to be acted up more quickly.
Berger stated her opposition to the motion.
Kasper argued that he was elected to make decisions. He said that receives information on good faith. More information from delegations would be a good idea, he said, but he doesn’t want to see his hands tied.
Parkinson wrapped up her argument by saying that if a delegation presents and information is submitted before hand, then a motion-on-the-fly would be OK; but, if they present and give information to Council during their presentation, “we shouldn’t vote on it.”
Pearson, Kasper and Berger opposed, leaving only Parkinson and Tait supporting it. The motion failed.
Motion the Second: THAT Council not receive any supplementary information or additional information at the start of any Council meetings. If the information is pertinent to an agenda item, that item should be tabled to the next Council meeting for discussion, so that Council has sufficient time to read the information.
Parkinson presented this motion, arguing that to make an informed decision, you need time to digest the information you received. At one meeting, she recounted, there was a 40-page document added at the meeting, and Council was expected to make a decision at that meeting. At this meeting, Parkinson observed, there were 27 extra pages.
Tait reminded everyone that any Councillor can move to table anything. Tait also observed that some municipalities wait until the meeting after a Public Hearing to vote on final readings, allowing Council sufficient time to process the information that had been received up to and during the Public Hearing.
Berger stated her opposition to this motion, noting that public hearings have to be open until the hearing itself is closed. Parkinson’s motion would be instantly not applicable in some scenarios. Berger also noted that all supplemental business is posted by 2pm on the day of the meeting, giving Councillors between then and 7pm to review the content.
Ultimately, Parkinson stood alone in support of this motion. Pearson, Kasper, Berger and Tait all opposed it. That motion, too, failed.
At the next Council meeting, Bev Berger has a motion for council to consider, to direct staff to reinstate the 48 hour building permit application.
- Two motions calling for time to process defeated by Sooke Council
- Future rental apartment gets development, variance permits approved by Sooke Council
- Sooke supports Langford’s Amazon HQ2 bid
- Delegation reveals Sooke Council divided on being informed
- DELEGATION: Recent bad Council decision tied to the lack of an up-to-date OCP
Since you’re here, we have a small favour to ask.
At 1.7 million page views over the past year, more people than ever are reading SPN. We had hoped advertising local services and events would sustain this service, but that has not come to pass. Advertising revenues are falling; status quo is unsustainable. Readers, please consider a small monthly donation. This can help secure the future of SPN. Business owners: Please consider an ad. More than massive local exposure, you will also be affiliated with an independent business that is 100% local, 99% paperless, and highly valued by the 98%. That’s priceless.
Thank you for your continued readership.
Or, you set the amount, one-time contribution.
Alternatively, click here to make a $10 donation using SPN PayPal.me. (You can change the donation amount on the landing page by clicking on the dollar amount.)