Electronic attendance no substitute for being there

Cache Creek reader says phoning it in wasn't what councillors were elected for.

Dear Editor

The Council of the Village of Cache Creek made changes to their Procedure Bylaw in the previous term allowing council members to attend by means of electronic or other communication means, ie: Skype. They do not even have to be present to vote on Village issues – which usually involve interactive discussions. There is no mention of maximum times allowed to be physically absent, which means they could be absent all year.

I believe these changes to the Village’s Procedure Bylaw were unnecessary in the first place as councillors were already allowed to be absent for three consecutive meetings and were allowed, by permission of Council, further absences. eg: medical issues or other extenuating circumstances that legitimately prevented them from attending.

We need our elected councillors to be living in our community in order to be active on necessary committees to further the development of our area. Why do we have councillors whose main residence is in another city? We tolerated the absence of two councillors last year as it was thought to be too expensive to hold a by-election for one year’s service. Also, it is unfair to other councillors having to take up the extra work load due to absent councillors.

Let’s stop these absent councillors now. Please come out to the council meeting on Monday, March 12 at 7 pm and, by our presence, let council know we wish them to reject this bylaw that allows attendance at council meetings by electronic means.

Dorothy Maksymiw

Cache Creek