CONTRIBUTION · 18th November 2011
A few days ago someone said; McLeod you must be bored to be running for the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine (RDKS) Area C rep. I said; no it is not from boredom it is due to necessity. Reflecting on my off the cuff remark; it makes me think I should expand on what I meant by necessity.
It has been my belief, from the outset, that it is necessary our Regional District Directors engage the public always before major decisions are made.
I believe our RDKS is compelled to keep their taxpayers well informed. The public is not apathetic; they are just not being provided sufficient and timely information. A culture within the RDKS has developed using perceived public apathy as an excuse to avoid seeking public input into planning and policies.
A simple example: The RDKS Annual Budget. The RDKS advertises for public input into the budget. The budget has been readied for adoption the same evening. The public is to comment on a 74 page budget document at an 8:00PM RDKS Finance Committee meeting. An hour or so later the budget is passed by the Board of Directors. Not much or no chance for change.
The whole public involvement in the budget process last year (and perhaps for many years before) was a farce. Invite the public to comment on a budget that will be put before the Board of Directors only minutes later to be adopted. And, the Board is pressured to accept it because it was left to the last minute. The process might meet legalities and that's about all.
The forgoing example is not enough. Here are some others:
-Forceman Ridge Landfill: No public engagement for near ten years.
-Flood Remediation: Was the affected public invited to planning?
-Property Tax Alternatives: No RDKS response to taxpayers in over a year.
-Lakelse / Jackpine Flats; Water and sewer planning with dated public input.
-MK Bay Marina: No taxpayer input on the RDKS plan to turn over the marina to the Haisla Nation in some kind of a partnership deal.
-British Columbia Ombudsperson: A July 2010 complaint about RDKS (an "In Camera" issue) not resolved 18 months later due to RDKS tardiness.
-BC Supreme Court Injunction of 10 NOV 2010 against RDKS costing many thousands of dollars remains unresolved and unexplained to taxpayers.
-Safety Authority of BC initiated 17 AUG 2011 a penalty of $250 per day to RDKS. $20,000 and rising. It is unresolved and not explained to the public.
-Worksafe BC is initiating a substantial RDKS financial penalty following years of safety deficiencies. An explanation to the public should be made.
-Rosswood to Klemtu needs to be engaged along with the rest of the Region.
Comment by Scott Mcginlay on 18th November 2011
Good luck Doug. We are in a major way needing a change especially in reguards to the MK Bay marina.