Sunday, October 1, 2023
October 1, 2023

Commissioners’ duties laid out by CRD staff

Potential candidates for Salt Spring’s newest governing body got an earful from Capital Regional District (CRD) personnel, as a dozen or so met online March 30 to learn a little more about what they might be signing up for. 

Island voters this past October approved the creation of the Salt Spring Island Local Community Commission (LCC), which will be comprised of four community members to be elected on May 27, and a fifth member — the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) Salt Spring Island electoral area director, a position currently held by Gary Holman. The five commissioners will have their first meeting Monday, June 19, each having one vote to bring Salt Spring’s desires to the CRD as once voice, on matters ranging from parks and recreation to transportation and transit. 

But first, they have to get elected. CRD senior staff members and deputy election officers Karla Campbell and Marlene Lagoa tag-teamed a Zoom presentation followed by a brief Q&A last Thursday, telling potential commissioners about the range of responsibilities and time commitments should they take office.  

The LCC’s meeting schedule is proposed to be once a month, every third Tuesday, according to Campbell, adding that staff expected those meetings to run between two and three hours. 

 “We’re not recommending any meetings during July, August and December,” said Campbell. “However there will be time available for special meetings as required.” 

In addition to parks and rec and transportation/transit, the LCC’s administrative authority extends to economic development, liquid waste disposal — specifically the receiving stations and storage at Burgoyne — street lighting, determination of compensation for livestock injury by dogs, the Fernwood dock and approval of grant-in-aid applications — as well as an advisory role to “review and recommend” budgets for Salt Spring services that receive CRD funding, such as ArtSpring, the public library, and search and rescue.

In addition to a CRD email address — and an iPad to administer electronic agendas and relevant documents — commissioners will receive $10,000 annually, with some limited expenses being eligible for reimbursement. Director Holman has said the remuneration number was, to a certain extent, arbitrary, but it had a rational foundation. Holman said in neighbouring municipalities of similar population, such as Sidney and North Saanich, members of those seven-member councils receive between $15,000 and $17,000. But, he added, they have larger budgets and more responsibilities. 

“They’re responsible for land use management, and here we have [Islands Trust] trustees do that,” said Holman. “They’re also responsible for roads and policing. So [remuneration] was scaled back accordingly.” 

The term of office will be until October 2026, after which it will be an even four years; the late election will shorten the first LCC’s term by a few months.  

Nomination packages will be available online at www.crd.bc.ca/ssi-vote. Prospective candidates must be nominated by at least two eligible voters from Salt Spring’s electoral area, and must themselves be Canadian citizens aged 18 and older on general voting day (May 27, 2023) and residents of British Columba for at least six months immediately before filing nomination documents.  

“Surprisingly, you are not required to be a Salt Spring Island resident to be eligible,” said Lagoa. “The requirement is your nominators be eligible to vote here.” 

The nomination period begins on Tuesday, April 11 at 9 a.m. and ends on Friday, April 21 at 4 p.m. More information about the LCC is available at crd.bc.ca/ssi-vote

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