Editorial: Bum numbing meetings

Council meetings inundated with lengthy agenda items

First off, congratulations to Sooke’s Carl Heinrich for winning Top Chef Canada. He deserves it. He is a young man who wears responsibility like a cloak and has respect for his trade and all who work in it. And, on top of all that, he’s a nice guy.

As keynote speaker for the grad class of 2012, we are certain Heinrich inspired them to go with their dreams and have some fun doing it.

On to other issues. Bum numbing meetings. At District of Sooke council on Monday night, the gallery sat patiently through two public meetings.Many got up to say their piece, and that’s democracy in action, but oh my, those chairs became harder by the hour.

After four hours, more than half of the agenda had to be deferred. The problem with this is that in an effort to make decisions, some may have been hasty. Council needs time to digest all of the material presented, so perhaps in the future, there should be only one controversial public hearing per meeting. A 257-page agenda is pushing the limits of comprehension and all items should be given good and thoughtful consideration.

One item of interest is the Statements of Financial Information. It lists the salaries of anyone working for the district who make more than $75,000 per year. Our highest paid employees, with benefits, use up $1.2 million. That’s 12 people. Add to that the people who make under $75,000 and the budget for salaries is close to $2.5 million.

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