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Directors consider childcare compensation

A motion to compensate RDN directors for childcare costs has been sent to committee.

“It (the motion) is intended to try and encourage young people with families to consider running while we move into the next election,” said director Bill Veenhof, who put forward the motion at Tuesday night’s RDN committee of the whole meeting.

The motion will need to be ratified at the next regular board meeting slated for May 27 before it can officially be referred to the renumeration committee.

Veenhof’s motion initially suggested “RDN directors be fully compensated for reasonable childcare costs while attending or traveling to and from all meetings necessary for the conduct of their RDN duties.”

If the motion was carried by the board, it could have been voted on and potentially passed by directors at their next regular meeting; however, after discussion amongst directors and staff the board decided to refer the motion to the remuneration committee this fall.  According to Veenhof, who represents Deep Bay, Qualicum Bay and Bowser, RDN directors “would not make a cent” off their salaries if they were expected to pay for childcare while they were in meetings or committed to RDN duties.

Veenhof said he worried that without some form of monetary compensation the RDN will miss out on a younger demographic of potentially “useful” directors.

The statement of financial information (SOFI) issued by the RDN confirmed board directors receive $18,440 annually.

Parksville city councillor Marc Lefebvre said he was concerned about the word “reasonable childcare” in that it leaves the door open to interpretation.

“What is reasonable in terms of childcare?” Lefebvre asked.

The youngest director on the RDN board, Nanaimo councillor George Anderson, 24, called the motion “forward thinking.”

“It (the motion) looks to make the democratic process easier for new people to participate in,” he said. “But I’d rather see it go to staff first.”

Anderson said looking around the board, he didn’t believe many directors “had school aged children.”

If the motion is passef at the regular board meeting, the renumeration committee will see the motion at the end of summer and a report could be presented to the board in September to pass before the upcoming November election.

Springboard Family Centre’s rate for infant toddler care ranges from $45 to $50 per child per day.

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