Amendment: Councillors can miss Tuff meetings, still get salary

Council approved an amendment to the district’s council remuneration bylaw to allow councillors to miss meetings without being docked pay, provided they have a valid reason.

The bylaw previously stipulated each councillor could miss up to two regular meetings and one committee of the whole meeting but their salary would decrease with any further absences.

Coun. Cathy Thicke proposed amending this bylaw to allow councillors to request council’s permission to miss meetings for extenuating circumstances.

Coun. Dorothy Baert voted against the amendment.

“I understand some of the intent behind it. I just think that we do have a responsibility and accountability to the taxpayer; we signed on to commit to attend our meetings and the remuneration is pegged to the meeting attendance,” she said. “I think three (absences) is generous and if you’re away more than three, maybe you’re off working a contract somewhere, is the taxpayer really able to be on the hook for that?” Mayor Josie Osborne noted the motion’s intent was for councillors to request permission from the rest of council to miss a meeting for a specific reason.

Thicke said council meetings are important and attendance is critical but there are instances where such permission would be warranted.

“If your mother was sick somewhere and you had to go for six weeks to tend to her while she died, would that not be a reasonable reason for you to miss?” she asked. “There’s an opportunity for council to consider an extraneous circumstance and it may only happen once every several years.”

Thicke doubted councillors unable to attend in person could use video calls through Skype.

“Within the constraints of this building we can’t even do that,” she said.

Baert said the permission stipulation could lead to awkward council discussions as councillors would be asked to weigh one another’s personal circumstances.

“I am not comfortable with it…I’m not in support of this,” she said.

Baert was the only vote in opposition to the amendment. reporter@westerlynews.ca

Just Posted

Ucluelet gets ready to celebrate Ukee Days

“There is nowhere that does an event quite like Ukee Days.”

Florencia beach clean near Tofino draws awesome crowd

Visitors from as far as Hawaii, Philippines, and Venezuela pitch in at Surfrider event.

West Coast leaders fear orca habitat protection could bring fishery closures

Ucluelet demands extension to DFO consultation process

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Through your lens: Okanagan wildfires

Check out some of the captivating images and video from social media of the wildfires

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

UPDATED: ICBC fights back against claims that it’s ‘ripping off’ B.C. RV drivers

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

Summerland issues State of Local Emergency in response to wildfire

Two homes under evacuation order; evacuation alert remains in place as result of wildfire

A brother’s determination pushes B.C. cyclist to ride 2,500 km for heart care

#Cunnycan: Ryan Cunningham ‘pushing the envelope’ to support brother Craig’s foundation

Most Read