Save a dollar, save a relationship
By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily
The saving of taxpayer dollars won out over governmental relationship building as Nelson city council voted no to a regional district initiative Monday night.
Council decided that over $38,000 in taxpayer money could not be used to support participation in the Community Sustainability Living Service.
Mayor John Dooley, the city’s representative on the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s board of directors, told council there was some duplication of service if they subscribed to the initiative.
Instead, he pointed to a City staff recommendation that the possibility of entering into a fee for service agreement with the RDCK — with the regional district establishing a clear set of “deliverables” for council approval — be established.
The service would have allowed the City to participate in issues of a regional nature, such as the City of Nelson Path to 2040 or the agricultural land reserve application process.
City manager Kevin Cormack told council the RDCK indicated around half of the money collected for the service’s budget would be used for existing staffing, with the remainder funding initiatives.
He said City-run initiatives such as the waterfront master plan, a community greenhouse gas reduction plan and the City’s own sustainability strategy, among others, were the equivalent of a sustainability program of their own, albeit with an effect specific to the City.
All other municipalities within the RDCK have approved entering into the service. Historically, the City had contributed to funding for some of the intended services delivered through the Community Sustainability Service, under the umbrella of Development Services as a mandatory service.
Once a recent RDCK board decision determined participation in the services was no longer mandatory, council opened debate on the merit of contribution.