Regional district considers taking meeting on the road

The Strathcona Regional District is taking one more shot at trying to take its meetings on the road

The Strathcona Regional District is taking one more shot at trying to take its meetings on the road.

The board, at its meeting Wednesday afternoon, considered hosting its strategic planning session outside of the Campbell River regional district offices.

The discussion followed up on a concept struck down by the board in August.

At that time, directors rejected holding regular board meetings in other communities within its jurisdiction due to high costs and issues with connectivity in some of the more remote communities.

As a compromise, Russ Hotsenpiller, CAO of the regional district, suggested the board move outside the regional district offices for its January strategic planning session.

“A further consideration is to hold the strategic planning session ‘on the road’ thereby satisfying the board’s expressed interest in visiting its member communities, but without the trappings and organization associated with a regular board meeting,” Hotsenpiller said.

But the board Wednesday wasn’t able to come to a decision on where exactly that should be.

Sayward Director John MacDonald offered his community while board chair Jim Abram, and Quadra Island director, suggested Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge.

Area D Director Brenda Leigh said the Oyster Bay Resorts have “beautiful meetings rooms” and electronic reception.

Area A Director Gerald Whalley said he didn’t know why the board was having the discussion in the first place.

“I can’t understand why we would want to incur extra costs on our taxpayers just for a simple meeting,” Whalley said. “It seems to me there’s no big advantage to doing this. What’s the big deal in just having it here? There’s nothing wrong with this place.”

Campbell River Director Ron Kerr said the point was to engage the other communities within the regional district.

“We have been looking at doing an off-site meeting. If we make it a regular meeting, it is too complicated to do, this give us an opportunity to move off site without incurring all that additional cost and electronic issues,” Kerr said. “I think it’s a good opportunity.”

He suggested that all the communities have a chance to sell their facilities and make the selection process competitive.

Abram said while that Kerr’s suggestion was valid, the recommendation was made to consider either Campbell River, Area D, or Quadra because of “close proximity, travel, and the time of year (January).”

In the end, the board chose to defer making a decision on the location until the next board meeting, when staff can come back with a report on specific options and location costs.