Work on hold while council sorts out committee appointments

NANAIMO – Several committee meetings have been cancelled with the lack of council appointments and structure review.

The work of several city committees is on hold with no decisions made yet about the future of the advisory groups.

Committee meetings have been cancelled this January in the wake of no council appointments or enough sitting members, including the Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission and Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability.

Political appointments to committees have been previously announced after the general election, but Mayor Bill McKay hasn’t assigned any responsibilities other than to the regional district and library boards and has pledged a review into the need and effectiveness of Nanaimo’s advisory groups.

The review hasn’t yet happened and city environmental planner Rob Lawrance, also with the environmental sustainability group, said they are waiting for it to be finished so they can find out the make-up of the committees and who the sitting members will be.

While the topic has been on several agendas, McKay says they haven’t gotten to it yet. With five new councillors, there are lots of questions and discussions in special Committee of the Whole meetings are taking longer, he said, adding he believes committee structure is next in the queue.

“Postponing the committee meetings, it’s unfortunate that we haven’t gotten that far yet, but I just want to make sure we get what we want at the end of the day,” said McKay, who’d like to see broader discussion and fewer committees.

There are 19 city committees and 11 external boards, plus legislated and liaison appointments.