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Committee realignment proposal coming for Kamloops

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Mayor Ken Christian. (via Brendan Kergin)

During his inauguration at the beginning of November, Mayor Ken Christian noted one immediate goal was to restructure the city's committees.

City committees operate below council and focus on things like heritage, social planning and community safety. Items from committees often are brought to council for official decisions with the recommendation of that committee.

However, while committees play an integral role in city operations, the system for creating and operating them is a little ad hoc, Christian says.

"It has been something that everyone always did; each new mayor grabbed the list from the old mayor," he says. "Some of them, like the community service committee, hadn't met in three years and we kept religiously making appointments to it."

The origins of some committees are unclear, and the terms of reference aren't always clear, he adds, which means administration has had to do some extra digging.

"It's been taking almost four weeks now," he says. "The reason is (administration) actually have to go back and find where they arose from."

Part of that revamp will be a realignment of some committees with more focused goals. Christian is proposing: Coun. Arjun Singh will lead one focusing on development and sustainability which will focus on climate change, environmental stewardship and community planning; Coun. Denis Walsh will lead one focusing on city finances and service agreements; the mayor himself will head one on community services, which would include community safety along with health issues in Kamloops; Coun. Dieter Dudy would lead a group looking at service levels and emerging issues like organic matter recycling; and Coun. Kathy Sinclair would look at community relations.

With the committee looking at service levels, Christian wants Dudy and the group to take a close look at street level services.

"What that is, how often we sweep your streets, how often do we plow your streets; after a snowfall, what's the standard if it's a residential street versus an arterial, that sort of stuff," he says. "A lot of people refer to service levels, but I haven't found anyone in city hall that's been around when they were actually established; they're just kinda this legend that lives on."

Meanwhile, the Walsh-led finances committee would bring something new.

"The City of Kamloops, I'm almost surprised to tell you, has never had a finance committee," he says. "What I want in that area is the whole piece of finance and audit and I want a review of the service agreements."

The new committee alignment is expected to go before city council at the next regular meeting on Dec. 11.


Brendan Kergin

About the Author: Brendan Kergin

Brendan Kergin is a digital reporter based in Kamloops.
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