Letter: Public needs more time to peruse council agendas

Minimum one day with agenda is not enough time for residents

Re: Bid for extra council agenda time fails, Oak Bay News, Nov. 23.

Should council only consider themselves?

The article explains that most members of council feel the notice time for circulation of meeting agendas and supporting information “works well” and there is “ample time to prepare.”

Perhaps the councillors (other than Coun. Eric Zhelka) missed the Oak Bay News article on Oct. 26 on the extensive Urban Forest Report citing the “largest concern voiced by the public was simply the time” to respond.

Council also failed to hear comments from the public about the lack of sufficient time to prepare for the Sept. 10 council meeting addressing infill; the Sept. 12 meeting addressing derelict boats and water lot leases; or the council meeting held at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 23 regarding deer management; or a one-day public notification for the last annual budget itemized as the general fund.

Although these are recent examples, there have been many more complaints in council meetings in the past few years about inadequate public response time for important documents.

Although a weekend may be ample time for council to approve most agenda items, including development permits and variances, it is another matter for the public to analyze and consider the community impacts, perhaps inform other residents and respond with a submission.

Could this be why Coun. Zhelka requested more public lead-time and a change from council’s current one-day notice legislated procedure?

The greater irony is that this is the same council who agreed to change the time for written submissions by the public from Thursday to Wednesday prior to the Council meeting.

No explanation as to how the public is expected to submit their concerns by Wednesday if the agenda is not available until two days later – very late on the Friday.

The process the way it stands is not a good way to engage the community. Or maybe that’s the plan.

Mary Douglas Hunt

Oak Bay

 

Just Posted

Uplands Park designated a national heritage site

Feds make $4.3 million announcement in Oak Bay

Protester threatens citizens arrest during morning federal funding announcement in Oak Bay

Police escort protester away after confronting federal minister

Oak Bay police arrest one of two suspects after resident held at gunpoint

Police expect second arrest ‘in the very near future’ after armed robbery

Victoria firefighters free ensnared seagull

BC SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre and animal control also responded

Saanich Police looking for information relating to suspicious death

The body of a man was found on Crease Avenue just after 9 a.m. on Saturday

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Search crews find 4-year-old boy who went missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Most Read