The city’s two new advisory commissions, tasked with making policy recommendations to council, met for the first time Tuesday.
In an orientation session at the museum, both of the commissions received their upcoming tasks and members got to know one another.
Mayor Walter Jakeway said he’s impressed by the calibre of the people volunteering their time.
“There’s a good variety of people and most have not been involved in politics before, so we’ve got a really good mix of people,” said Jakeway who noted that the commissions were so popular that the city had to turn people down.
“We had three times as many people apply that we could take. It’s really going to be quite interesting.”
Council chose to restructure its commissions shortly after Jakeway took office in late 2011.
Jakeway said soon after taking over the mayor’s chair he realized the city had 40 different commissions and committees.
“We couldn’t keep up,” Jakeway said. “They’re all generating minutes that we had to read and it’s a big parade. We shrunk it down to keep it more manageable.”
Coun. Larry Samson was tasked with whittling down the commissions, and along with the help of City Clerk Peter Wipper and City Manager Andy Laidlaw, council came up with a new commission structure.
That resulted in the formation of two new commissions, each with a broader focus.
The Community Services, Recreation and Culture Commission will recommend policies regarding city parks, recreation and culture services, early childhood development, seniors and youth programs, community support services, organized sports, visual arts, performing arts, heritage conservation, outdoor recreation, community beautification and community safety.
Sitting on the commission will be councillors Ron Kerr, Larry Samson and Mary Storry as well as nine members of the public. The include Shannon Baikie, Richard Boehm, Erica Chan-Lafrance, Cal Grunerud, Stacey E. Larson, Craig Massey, Sid Shook, Kim Stevens and Jeanette Taylor.
The Advisory Planning and Environment Commission will provide policy advice and recommendations to council on issues related to long-range planning such as the Official Community Plan, land use and development planning, permitting and development application processes, transportation planning and environmental and sustainability issues.
The commission will be served by councillors Andy Adams, Ryan Mennie and Claire Moglove as well as members of the public Kira DeSorcy, Vanessa Hamer, Melissa Kirk, Stacey Larsen, Dale Mailman, Richard Stephens, William Wagner, Helen Whitaker and Steve Woods.
Jakeway said both commissions already have roughly three items each to tackle.
Most notable is the issue of backyard chickens, which will be tasked to the Advisory Planning and Environment Commission. Council has requested the commission look into other communities’ backyard poultry bylaws in order to recommend a policy for Campbell River that would allow urban residents to raise female chickens on their properites.