Pitt Meadows council is considering changes designed to make its committees more relevant.
It follows after a consultant’s report found problems in the city committees, including that the authority of the committee is uncertain, interest in committees has waned, the process of reporting to council is unclear and other issues.
On Jan. 8 council hosted a governance round table to get feedback on the proposed new committee structure. Council directed staff to prepare a report for its Jan. 22 meeting outlining the next steps and a proposed implementation plan for the new committee structure, which includes consideration of all feedback. The committees under review included:
• Active Transportation Advisory Committee
• Advisory Design Panel
• Agricultural Advisory Committee
• Community Events Liaison
• Green Team Committee
• Pitt Meadows Airport Advisory Committee
• Rail Community Advisory Panel
• Municipal Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Inclusiveness
“Ensuring that all of the voices of our community are heard is a top priority for council,” said Mayor Bill Dingwall. “The proposed structure is a great opportunity to enhance authentic engagement and build partnerships with the community.”
Under the current governance structure, committees, special interest groups and community members have limited opportunity to engage with council outside of short question-and-answer periods before and after meetings.
The recommended new structure uses an oversight committee. An oversight committee structure brings council and the community together by facilitating two-way dialogue between councillors, staff, members of public or committee members, said a city press release. The new oversight committee will “enhance and strengthen the flow of information between council, staff and the community on pressing issues, policy matters and strategic visioning.”
On Jan. 22, council will also consider the scope of their decision making authorities within the terms of reference for the new oversight committee.
“Committees will have an opportunity to bring priority items before council and the community in a more fulsome way and in a less traditional, formal and rigid council setting,” said Dingwall. “This will form a critical part in the council/community decision making, engagement and transparency.”
To find out more about the new proposed committee structure, read the review, conducted by George Cuff and Associates.