If committee chairs in Qualicum Beach want to meet more frequently over the course of the next council term, it will be the councillors involved who make the decision.
That was the outcome of a contentious vote at Wednesday’s special council meeting when outgoing councillor Jack Wilson called on his colleagues to consider allowing commission chairs to schedule meetings more frequently than once every three months.
Wilson, who sits as the chair of both the Heritage Forest Commission and the Recreation and Parks Commission, wanted the flexibility to schedule more meetings, as he said it is difficult under the current quarterly meeting schedule to get any sense of continuity.
Although his motion was seconded by Coun. Kent Becker, Wilson found himself isolated on the issue at vote time.
Coun. Barry Avis said some committees and commissions found themselves with nothing to talk about when they met more frequently and he urged instead that any scheduling decisions for committees and commissions be dealt with by the incoming council after the November election.
Becker agreed with Wilson, noting the public safety committee also found the infrequent meeting schedule too restrictive.
However, Mayor Teunis Westbroek agreed with Avis and called on council to allow the new councillors to make the decision. To that end, he called for a motion to defer the issue until after the Nov. 19 election.
“To resolve this issue, we should refer it to the next council to see if they feel it’s right to meet more often,” he said. “I’m calling for a motion to that effect.”
Wilson didn’t go down quietly however.
“We have the experience of what happens when meetings are set in the bylaw,” he said.
Westbroek was unimpressed.
“It took nine years to come to that conclusion,” he said. “The new council will have common sense and we can trust them to make the right decision.”
The motion to defer the issue passed, with Wilson casting the lone vote in opposition.