MOU not understood

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At Director Hicks’s suggestion, I listened to the CRD Board debate before their vote on the Memorandum of Understanding between the JDF Electoral Area and the District of Sooke.  The Sooke News Mirror account is misleading.

The Juan de Fuca Electoral Area is governed by the CRD Board.  Members are expected make informed decisions based on due diligence to achieve a good understanding of the issues. Even at the level of a non-profit community society, a director is obligated to use his or her professional skills in doing that job. A good community board has a mix of people with various skills or is willing and able to consult with others before making a decision. If people don’t ask for more information when they need it, they aren’t doing their jobs.

When debating the JDF-Sooke MOU, a director asked why Metchosin wasn’t involved since Metchosin also boarders the JDF Electoral Area.  I don’t remember Mayor Ranns saying anything.Mayor Finall, who has legal training, suggested that an MOU is not the correct legal format for the agreement.  She said an MOU is usually between staff. A different kind of agreement is used between elected representatives.  Director Hicks offered to have the document rewritten.Ultimately, the majority of the Board seemed to think the purpose of the document was clear enough that future legal problems were not likely. They voted to accept it as written.

The two votes against the MOU by no means illustrate “an illness” in the CRD. The fact that the Sooke News Mirror report includes Mayor Ranns on the list of Directors who “challenged” the MOU and does not give any idea as to why the two Directors were opposed does illustrate a problem. The readers also have to vote on issues and also need good information.

Heather Phillips

Otter Point

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