Today, I would like to chat about the role the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce plays in the community and the rules it must play by.
The Sooke chamber has a service agreement with the District of Sooke to provide services to all businesses in the community beyond our existing membership. In this agreement, the chamber offers a wide swath of information and functions that try to bring the voices of the business community together and aid them in the resources they might need to be successful.
The board of directors has a fiduciary duty to the District of Sooke to ensure the service agreement is executed as agreed upon. Our staff performs this work to the best of their abilities.
So, what happens when a staff member of an organization or a businessperson runs for a councillor position in an upcoming election? Nothing.
These individuals are employees in the community and are willing to go the extra mile to be a part of the political landscape to make our wonderful little community better every time. However, if a board of directors member wanted to run a campaign, that person would have to step down from that position to run.
Conflicts of interest are not all that common, as most organizations have policies and procedures that are in place to protect against conflicts.
The chamber has a strict overview of how it operates. We are sensitive to the perception we project to the public, and the moment we have a possible issue, we immediately defer to the board of directors for a resolution. That consensus from the board gives any organization legitimacy in its day-to-day operations and to the greater community.
The up-and-coming elections are sure to be exciting. A possible change in council means a new wave of energy, excitement, and vision that will help build and shape Sooke’s future.
I look forward to working with the new council in building upon what is already in place and creating a spot in the world where we take pride in our district – and home.
Mike Menard is president of the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.