SUMMING IT UP: Grand Forks City Council
In order to apply for a grant to hire a summer student, the City of Grand Forks agreed to reconvene their environment committee and commited funding to the project.
At the last meeting of council on Monday, Feb. 20, councillor Cher Wyers asked for the renewed commitment and $10,000 to hire a student to run a nephelometer study in the summer. The device, being offered to the community at no cost from the University of Victoria, measures particulate in the air using reflected light. The committee discussed this project last fall, and their goal is to run the nephelometer in different parts of the valley to study particulate and identify areas of the city which have worse air quality than others.
In order to conduct the study, the committee will be seeking a summer student to oversee the project.
Covering spouse’s costs
Based on a policy of the Regional District of the Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), Mayor Brian Taylor proposed a policy to cover spouse’s costs for banquets at major conventions. Councillor Neil Krog immediately raised his opposition to the idea.
“We’re the ones elected. If you have a partner or spouse, then they allow you to serve. But they’re not serving the city. Some councils just do the banquet, other councils pay for the spouse’s trip,” Krog commented. “If you open the door, then you’re paying for stuff. If as a city representative, the city pays for me to attend a banquet that’s one thing. To pay for (my wife) to attend the banquet, I don’t think its right, we shouldn’t be paying for that sort of stuff.”
Other councillors argued that the annual cost is minimal, but the perk is a way to recognize the contributions of spouses who support the council in their work.
“I just think this is one opportunity where we can share it with our family when we’re away on the road,” councillor Cher Wyers said.
The motion passed.
Liaison roles for councillors
Krog was noted as taking on liaison roles for arts and culture organizations including Gallery 2, and the Boundary District Arts Council.
Mayor Brian Taylor advised that the council is looking for a person to sit on the Grand Forks Recreation Commission for the city.
“Just to let you know we are looking for a community person with an interest in sitting on the commission,” said Taylor. “It’s becoming a pretty important area and we’ll be looking for another community person.”
The deer committee will be starting up again and a meeting date will be decided soon.
Council participated in a planning session in late January to set their strategic goals for their term. The plan (available on their website here) was approved by council at the meeting. Key goals for this council include corporate, organizational and advocacy priorities. Some of the areas to be focused on are: regional services integration; succession planning for staff; economic stimulation; infrastructure replacement; deer; and sustainability actions.
Taylor met with the RCMP to review their annual report which will be presented to council soon.
In preparation for bringing resolutions forward to the annual meeting of the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Government, two resolutions were passed by council.
The first is a resolution requesting that high energy caffeine drinks be restricted for sale to youth by Health Canada.
The second once again prods the provincial government to address wildlife conflicts by creating a B.C. wildlife management plan and deal with the current shortage of conservation officers.
The city is hosting their public budget meetings over the next few weeks. The city intends to introduce the proposed 2012-2016 five year financial plan at the Mar. 19 primary committee meeting at 7:00 p.m.
A second public presentation regarding the proposed 2012-2016 financial plan is intended to be on Monday, Mar. 26 as a special meeting and will be in council chambers at 6:00 p.m.
All members of public are welcome to attend these budget presentations.