The SICS Committee

Mayor McKay and Council:

I would like to thank you all for the discussion which took place on Monday afternoon on the subject of Committees. While I did not find the information which I had hoped for and requested, I heard you all raise interesting questions about the topic which helped me sort the issue in my own mind. Following your observations on the number of Committees and Commissions and their leadership structure, I was particularly taken by the information that there are municipalities which have very few or even no committees. This brought me back to the Community Charter which, while permitting committees, neither suggests nor encourages them.

This then led led me to the basic question of why we have them at all? The reasons I could come up with were as follows:

  1. We have always –or at least in living memory- had them.
  2. They take a load off the backs of Council.
  3. They provide a check on or back up for our professional staff.
  4. They offer a window on community opinion.

You may have other reasons and if so, I would be happy to hear them.

But for the above and after some consideration,  I offer the following comment:

1. is no reason at all.
2. Relieves, or at best mitigates, Staff of their administrative responsibilities.
3. Similar to 2, they dilute the responsibilities of our highly paid professional Staff.
4. There are non institutionalized means for gathering public opinion on areas of community activity which are considerably less convoluted and expensive in Staff time.

If it is felt that a Committee is necessary, I would like to put forward the suggestion of a single committee dedicated to the capture and regular reporting on Suggestions for Improvements and Complaints about Service from the public. The SICS Committee would report monthly to Council, to Staff and to the public on input received and actions taken in response.

Ron Bolin