District council might benefit from a brief pause

There are times when a pause is necessary to put one’s house in order, and for the District of Sicamous, this might be one of them.

There are times when a pause is necessary to put one’s house in order, and for the District of Sicamous, this might be one of them.

Earlier this month it was announced that Sicamous council had terminated the district’s contract with former administrator Alan Harris. This coincided with the announced retirement of district corporate services manager Mary Geall. Last week we learned that community planner Steve Noakes has also given notice.

This thinning of administration has left district financial services director Ruth Walper acting as interim chief administrative officer (CAO) and corporate officer – all of which are mandatory municipal positions under the Community Charter, to be filled by one or more persons. Not to doubt Walper’s capabilities, but this is a substantial increase in workload given that it’s also budget time.

But the plight of existing administrative staff is not as concerning as the predicament council and, in particular, Mayor Darrell Trouton are now facing.

A community planner and CAO are intimately familiar with zoning bylaws and the official community plan, and typically provide guidance for council, assuring these critical foundations of municipal process are adhered to.

Then there’s a matter of public perception. During the recent municipal election, accusations were made publicly that Trouton was in the running to forward his own project, an affordable housing development that seemed perpetually stuck in the mire of political process. After the election, it was one of the first major development projects on the agenda for council’s committee of the whole.

Though positive change is good, so is trust and accountability.

The district and council is now scrambling to hire an interim CAO, to be followed with an assessment of corporate operations. Another positive step might be for council to defer all development decisions, or at least those related to the mayor’s development, until a new CAO is in place and up to speed. Though this will be frustrating to some, it may help alleviate public concern for potential conflicts of interest.


Just Posted

South Shuswap residents kick waste collection concept to the curb

Area C residents prefer existing depot system, suggest more enforcement

Plaques provide historical view of Salmon Arm landmarks

City heritage plaques added to Fletcher Park, Mount Ida Cemetery and Fairgrounds

In photos: Parade kicks off Girls Only Soccer Camp World Cup fun tournament

Players split into 11 countries for music and dance-filled parade, followed by tourney

Summerland Fall Fair to include zucchini race

Event is in honour of bobsleigh athlete Justin Kripps

Province attempting to ease concerns over caribou management

CSRD receives letter promising more consultation while chambers of commerce meet with minister

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry supply

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Okanagan resident’s alleged stolen dog found safe

Nicholas Bozak thanks the public for finding his 17 month old mastiff chow

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Survivorship Dragon Boat Team wins in Vernon

Team takes top spot in A division at festival

Kelowna car thief’s sentencing delayed

Stanley Nickason pled guilty car theft charges in B.C. Supreme Court

Development gives Kelowna community garden the boot

Glen Valley residents given a few days to break it down before land development

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

World-famous sopranos to hold concert in Okanagan

Two Canadian sopranos are bringing their world-famous voices to the Okanagan for one night only

Most Read