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Bowen Island council won't be permitted to make decisions via email, seeks other methods to make quick approvals
Emails won't be replacing good old-fashioned sit-downs at Bowen Island Municipality (BIM) meetings anytime soon. But local politicians are still exploring ways to make decisions more efficiently when it comes to smaller issues.
BIM's advisory design panel asked municipal staff in July if it's possible for the panel to make recommendations on certain matters via email as opposed to waiting until council or committee meetings.
"It's fundamental to the community charter that the meetings be held at a location where it's open to the public," BIM chief administrative officer Kathy Lalonde told council on Sept. 23.
"If we do it this way (via email), the applicant has no way of being there and hearing what's going on and providing information."
Instead, she recommended a review of the relevant bylaw to see what the existing threshold is for municipal staff when it comes to decision-making matters.
Coun. Daron Jennings recalled one application that took far too long when he made a request to change a glass door into a solid-panel door.
"Having to wait literally 90 days for a three-day job is a little ridiculous," he told council.
"We can't cripple our local economy over those sorts of small decisions. We have a capable staff."
Coun. Wolfgang Duntz told council there should be more practical ways to make decisions on smaller matters.
"It's not so much the process as it is what the process is expected to address. Sometimes, it's such minor changes that it's not even worth meeting and that's a problem," he said.
"There probably should be a stipulation which describes issues which do not require meeting, or leave it as the discretion of the chairperson, because it's a formality."