Terrace council gets down to business

Council committee assignments and community engagement were two topics of discussion at a recent committee of the whole meeting

Terrace city council spent one of the last lunchtime meetings of 2014 hashing out the details of council’s committee assignments, the details of which are set to be brought to council later this month.

Mayor Carol Leclerc will use the information from the Dec. 19 committee of the whole meeting, as well as specific requests from councillors, to inform her list of appointments which will then be approved by council.

Less about council’s preferred appointments, the December meeting was more about the relationship between council and the committee structure as a whole and a chance for the new mayor to hear from council about which committees and task forces worked well over the past few years and which had challenges.

That means there could be some changes as to which community groups receive city liaisons and which don’t, with staff indicating they would be in communication with various groups in the coming weeks.

In fact, one of the major trends of the meeting was communication – not only on how council could better communicate to community groups the role of a council liaison (for example: it’s not reasonable to expect a liaison to come to every meeting) but also how council could better facilitate discussions with the general public.

To that end, council seemed keen on the idea of developing a series of town-hall style meetings or community forums going forward, with the mayor and all of the councillors present – Sean Bujtas, James Cordeiro, Brian Downie, Michael Prevost, and Stacey Tyers – appearing in favour of the idea.

“That’s something I heard a lot about during the campaign,” said Prevost. “A lot of people wanting opportunities to discuss topics of concern with council.”

Prevost added that the topics would have to be specific in order for the meetings to stay on track and that the city should consider ways to engage people where they’re at, outside of council chambers.

Mayor Leclerc said that the public would probably appreciate further information on the Skeena Industrial Development Park.

“When we finish our strategic planning (on the development park) it would be nice to do some shoulder tapping in the community and tell them this is what are plans are going forward,” she said.