MIMC meeting date turns controversial

  • Oct. 15, 2010 6:00 a.m.

Who could have predicted that the agenda item titled “November meeting date”, which came up halfway through the Moresby Island Management Committee’s latest meeting, would provoke the most passionate debate of the evening? Yet that was exactly what happened as the downsized committee, with only three members and one alternate, met Oct. 14 at the Sandspit community office. Chair Evan Putterill, who is also the regional district director for Sandspit, said the committee’s practice of meeting on the second Thursday of the month will conflict with Nov. 11 this year and asked members if they wanted to meet Nov. 11, or choose a different day. In response, committee member Gord Usher said regional district bylaw 388 actually states that the MIMC will hold its regular monthly meetings on Wednesday nights, and made a motion that the committee respect the bylaw and go back to meeting on Wednesdays. Mr. Usher said his interest in making sure the committee follows bylaw 388 to the letter stems from Mr. Putterill’s actions, the previous month, to eject two committee members who missed three consecutive meetings without giving notice, as proscribed in the bylaw. “If you’re a stickler for bylaws and rules, why are we meeting Thursdays?” he asked. But Mr. Usher’s suggestion to switch the meeting date back to Wednesdays led to a howl of protest from committee member Robert Chisholm, who accused Mr. Usher of being vindictive and uncourteous. Apparently, the committee had decided some time ago to meet on Thursdays rather than Wednesdays so that Mr. Chisholm could attend the popular Wednesday darts. Mr. Putterill said the committee also thought that since about 25 Sandspit residents participate in darts, changing the meeting night would also allow more public participation. But a quick survey of the six members of the public attending the Oct. 14 meeting revealed that none play darts, and would not be affected by the proposed change. Mr. Putterill conceded that bylaw 388 does state that meetings will be held on Wednesdays, but said he didn’t think it was the intent of the bylaw to enforce a rigid schedule. A bit of background: at the September MIMC meeting, Mr. Usher and Mr. Chisholm had ended up on opposite sides of the debate over whether the committee should ask the regional district to reinstate Don McNeice and Mandy Wesley, the two members who lost their seats for non-attendance over the summer. Mr. Usher’s side prevailed and the committee wrote a letter requesting the reinstatements. However, the regional district ignored the request and decided to hold a by-election to fill the seats. Mr. Chisholm made an attempt to table Mr. Usher’s motion, but his tabling motion failed to attract a seconder. Mr. Usher and alternate Gail Henry then voted in favour of returning to Wednesday night meetings, with Mr. Chisholm opposed. Ms Henry said Sandspit residents have lots to do on other nights of the week, not only dart night. “Thursday night doesn’t work well for me, never did,” Ms Henry said. “I have a commitment on Thursday nights which I’ve had to give up repeatedly to be here… That’s where I’m coming from.” Thus, the next Moresby Island Management Committee will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at either 7 pm or 7:30 pm. Members weren’t sure exactly what the bylaw says with regard to the time of the meeting. We’ll keep you posted.

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