Volunteer members of the Local Community Commission (LCC) Advisory Committee have taken a position on the proposed LCC bylaws, asking people to vote in favour of approving them in an Oct. 15 referendum.
Capital Regional District (CRD) bylaws 4507 and 4508 establish an LCC for Salt Spring and lay out the authority delegated to a commission by the CRD.
“These bylaws provide an excellent foundation for a locally elected council for Salt Spring,” the committee states in a press release. “A Salt Spring LCC will broaden elected CRD representation, confer authority over local services, allow more transparent decision-making and consolidate the siloed nature of CRD service delivery.”
The committee says it recommended a broader list of services be overseen by an LCC but is “confident that the creation of an LCC will significantly improve CRD service delivery and that its scope of authority can be increased over time as experience is gained.”
The group acknowledged the change has costs attached, including the 2023 election for commission members, annual stipends and additional costs to be determined by the LCC.
“We believe that the efficiency and governance benefits offered by an LCC justify these costs.”
The committee also notes that with dissolution of the transportation, parks and rec, economic sustainability and liquid waste commissions, the LCC needs to find a way to retain the expertise of citizens such as those who currently volunteer as commission members. A focused effort to create stronger volunteer/CRD partnerships is suggested.
“In summary, we are confident that an LCC will offer a significant improvement in CRD service delivery through increased elected representation, cost effectiveness and transparency in decision-making.”
LCC Advisory Committee members are Gayle Baker, who currently chairs the transportation commission and the LCC committee, parks and recreation commission chair Sonja Collombin, liquid waste commission chair Mary Richardson (and alternate Peter Meyer), and members at large Darryl Martin and Kees Ruurs. Brian Webster is an advisory and primary author of the LCC discussion paper.
Gerard Zentner represents the Community Economic Sustainability Commission (CESC) on the LCC Advisory Committee. The CESC is discussing its position regarding the LCC proposal at its Sept. 12 meeting.
Representatives of Salt Spring Fire Protection District and North Salt Spring Waterworks District participated in the committee’s work but declined to take a public position.
Copies of the proposed bylaws, minutes of the LCC Advisory Committee meetings, the LCC discussion paper, an analysis of CRD response to committee recommendations, and more are available by emailing email@example.com.
Al of the information will be available at a lccsaltspring.com website soon.
The referendum will be held in conjunction with local government elections on Oct. 15.