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UBCM Proposes Legislative Changes for Alternate Electoral Area DirectorsUnion of British Columbia Municipalites
VANCOUVER - UBCM’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Alternate ‘Unelected” Electoral Area Directors has completed its deliberations and conveyed its recommendations for legislative changes to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The Ad-Hoc Committee was established in April 2017 to discuss the issue of alternate “unelected” directors.
Committee members were specifically asked to identify possible courses of action for addressing the challenges faced by regional district boards when elected directors are unable to serve and alternates take on a more permanent role.
The Committee’s legislative recommendations are as follows:
- Remove the “requirement” to appoint an alternate director.
- Require that a by-election be held if a director does not attend meetings for six months.
- Permit an appeal to the Minister should a 2/3 majority of the board feel more time should be given to the director, beyond six months.
- Establish a quorum for regional board meetings that requires a 2/3 majority of elected officials thereby eliminating a situation where unelected alternate board members make up the majority and therefore able to make decisions.
- Align regional districts with councils in regards to filling vacancies so that a by-election is not necessary if the vacancy occurs in the year of a general local election.
The Committee also recommended that, as a best practice, regional district bylaws stipulate that only an elected official can receive a director’s stipend.
The Ad-Hoc Committee issued a discussion paper, made presentations, and sought feedback at both the EA Forum and CEO-CAO Forum in early 2018. This feedback informed the recommendations developed by the Committee.
UBCM wishes to thank the members of the Ad-Hoc Committee for all of their work:
Al Richmond, Ad-Hoc Committee Chair, Cariboo RD
Wendy Booth, UBCM Executive, East Kootenay RD
Art Kaehn, UBCM Executive, Fraser-Fort George RD
Janis Bell, CAO, Cariboo RD (retired in December 2017)
John MacLean, CAO, Kootenay Boundary RD (2017) /Cariboo RD (2018)
Paul Gipps, CAO, Fraser Valley RD (joined Committee in January 2018)
Jim Martin, CAO, Fraser-Fort George RD