There is concern among some Strathcona Regional District Directors that they have been missing out on time sensitive information because of the organization’s mail policy.
Area C Director Jim Abram, who is also chair of the regional district board, recently brought the matter before regional district staff.
Abram, who lives on Quadra Island, asked that mail addressed to him and sent to the regional district office in Campbell River be opened and processed, as often there are pressing matters that need immediate attention.
“As chair, there are things that come in that are time sensitive and need to be dealt with by the board,” Abram said at Wednesday’s board meeting. “There’s no sense for it to sit in my box for two or three days until I can get here, or have it mailed over to me, to find out it’s an ad for a new copier.”
The current practice, which was adopted in May of 2010, is for directors’ mail to be left unopened in his or her mailbox.
Russ Hotsenpiller, chief administrative officer of the regional district, said in order to change that, a policy amendment would have to be passed by the board. Hotsenpiller agreed with Abram that an argument could be made to have mail opened as soon as it’s received by the regional district’s front office.
“This is especially relevant for mail addressed to the chair since matters such as upcoming meetings with senior government officials, approvals of various kinds, and possibly notices of pending litigation could be addressed to the chair,” Hotsenpiller wrote in a report to the board. “There is therefore a strong argument for suggesting that such mail should be opened by the officials responsible for corporate administrative matters to determine if specific action is required. In the absence of such a capability, it is possible that important matters may be overlooked or delayed beyond a reasonable period of time.”
Area B Director Noba Anderson said at Wednesday’s board meeting that in the past she missed out on an important event because she was away for two weeks and unable to retrieve her mail.
“There was one timely thing I would’ve loved to have known about but I wasn’t here,” Anderson said.
In the end, the board voted to have staff prepare an amendment to the mail policy for further consideration by directors.