By-election to be held to fill MIMC seats

  • Sep. 29, 2010 4:00 p.m.

The regional district will be holding a by-election to fill three seats on the Moresby Island Management Committee. Acting administrator Helen Koning said no date has been chosen yet for the by-election. The decision to hold one was made at the regional district’s Sept. 24 meeting in Prince Rupert. Directors voted in favour of going ahead with a by-election despite a letter from the Moresby Island Management Committee itself, asking that two of the directors, Mandy Wesley and Don McNeice, be reinstated. Moresby Island regional district director Evan Putterill announced earlier this month that Ms Wesley and Mr. McNeice had lost their seats because they had missed three committee meetings. The regional district bylaw that governs the management committee states that directors lose their positions if they miss three consecutive meetings without giving adequate notice. The decision was controversial because Ms Wesley and Mr. McNeice have said they missed the meetings due to the fact that their business is busy in the summer, and that they gave verbal notice they wouldn’t be able to attend. They are still interested in being on the committee. The committee has a third vacant seat from the resignation of Bente Sutherland. The regional district agenda included a letter from the Moresby Island Management Committee and a letter from resident Joni Fraser. Both letters requested that the board reinstate Ms Wesley and Mr. McNeice. The committee’s letter said the bylaw is not clear about whether notice that a member will be missing a meeting has to be given in writing, and that the bylaw was not enforced in the summer of 2009, when there were similar circumstances. Ms Fraser’s letter gave four reasons why the two should keep their seats, including the bylaw not being clear, the fact that it is hard to find volunteers to serve the community on boards like the management committee, and the cost of a byelection. Sandspit resident Gord Usher was also on the agenda to speak about this issue, but weather prevented him from attending. Ms Koning said the regional district directors decided that the bylaw is clear about the consequences for members who miss three consecutive meetings, and that their decision was to go ahead with a byelection. Ms Koning said members of any type of committee should make sure they provide written notice if they are going to miss a meeting, and make sure that their notice is recorded in the minutes. “Anywhere else that I’ve worked, that’s how that process would work,” she said.

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