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LETTER: RDCK by-laws lacking in fair consultation process

Letters to the editor
By Letters to the editor
March 26th, 2018

 

Ootischenia and Fairview residents,

November 16,2017 two bylaws were passed by the RDCK. By-law #2533,2016 increases residents’ taxes to expand the service area to include Ootischenia and Fairview to pay for the second by-law.

This second by-law, #2388, 2014 is for animal (dog) control services.

The RDCK used a method of voting called the Alternative Approval Process (AAP) to pass these bylaws. The AAP is akin to negative billing. If a resident was in opposition to the by-laws he/she had to download a form from the RDCK website, and mail it or hand deliver it to the RDCK office by November 6, 2017.

The AAP required 10% (199+) of residents who were opposed to defeat the by-laws or send it to a referendum. This last option was not provided to residents during the “voting” period.

In order for a by-law to pass using this system only those in opposition actually voted.

If a resident supported the by-laws, didn’t understand the process, were unaware of the vote, or were unavailable to vote were all counted as yes votes. This process relies on information being disseminated to  all  residents who will be affected by the outcome.

In my meetings and conversations with RDCK staff, they have stated that they provided enough information to legally support the outcome of the “vote”.

    • two advertizements were printed in the Castlegar News – Sept. 29/17 & Oct. 5/17;

    • one poster was displayed on the bulletin board in the RDCK lobby (Nelson);

    • letters were sent to 734 mailboxes in Ootischenia ;

    • No letters were sent to Fairview.

Area J director is Rick Smith, is the originator of by-law 2388, 2014 and Grace Allen (RDCK staff) is the author of the same. At no time were residents met with for input, consultation or interest in the by-law. Since the passing of these by-laws, residents have not been informed of their existence.

If you are interested in further information and/or to sign a petition, I would like extend an offer to a meeting. Please pass this informaton on to others you know are affected by the by-laws.

Contact Colette at dobegirl@shaw.ca

Colette Ritchie

 

 

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