Policies and Priorities Meeting: January 11, 2015

Trent Ernst, Editor


Present: Mayor McPherson, Councillors Mackay  (chair), Howe, Krakowka, Scott, Kirby, Caisley



Correspondence received from the Lions Club to thank Council and the Community Centre Staff for their help and contribution to the Annual Santa Skate. There were 85 people who showed up to skate with Santa, Mrs Claus, the Grinch and Frosty the Snowman.



The acting Community Services Manager is looking for direction for recreational programming department and staff regarding Family Day 2016. The first Family Day was in 2014, and was held out at the Golf Course toboggan hill. The District obtained a $1000 grant for the events, and provided food and drink and three staff on site.

In 2015, they received another $1000 grant and Success by Six ran the event. This year, the recreation department asks if the grant will be available. If the grant is not available, the District would need to cover the cost. Because it is a stat, it costs twice as much for staff wages. Options include running an event only if grant funds are available, run the event even if the district has to pay for it, run the event on the Sunday, as it doesn’t involve paying staff double time, or give no direction.

Councillor Caisley says he’s in favour of making a big deal out of it. He suggests doing the free community centre stuff on the weekend, rather than on the stat, so as to avoid the overtime costs. He suggests making a big deal out of it. “Have a good time, something that Tumbler Ridge needs right now”

Mayor McPherson says the toboggan hill is a really good deal; doesn’t take a lot of staff to do it. “I really like that idea. We had a lot of fun last year, and we don’t use the hill near enough.”

Councillor Scott says she likes the idea of having it focused in one area rather than multiple areas. “It would be better attended and everyone would be able to participate.” She says that keeping staff to a minimum would be cost effective.

Councillor Mackay asks for a report as to which groups are available to take over the Family Day events. Move that staff prepare a report around creating a Family Day event.


Council met with Urban Systems in November of 2015 to discuss asset management. The proposed policy spells out the philosophy, not the steps of asset management, says CAO Jordan Wall. “Those next steps will involve setting up a Asset Management Committee. Real steps will happen in budgeting when we decide what steps we will take.”



Mayor McPherson says Council has talked about this before. “It’s my feeling that the Geopark should be located in the VIC,” he says. “We’ve already had issues with people going to visit the manager in the museum and running into problems. I think she should be in the VIC.”

Councillor Howe asks how many offices are available and who occupies them.

Wall says there are two offices. One will be occupied by the Chamber Manager. The EDO’s assistant was in the other, but has moved out, so it is open.

Councillor Mackay says the original idea was to have WNMS there, but Geopark has taken over that, and he likes the idea of the Geopark being there.

Councillor Caisley asks about the plan to have the EDO there. Councillor Mackay says previous Council had discussed that but it has fallen off the table. “It’s not going to take a long time to run out of space,” says Caisley. Councillor Howe says it doesn’t make sense to have EDO there. “Economic Development is about more than tourism.”

Mackay says the thinking was to have the EDO with the Chamber. Councillor Scott says the EDO should be at town hall, and things that focus on tourism be there.

Discussion turns to old VIC, but Councillor Howe says he’s under the impression that the old VIC is near being condemned. “When I was a member of the public that’s the way the new VIC was sold to us. It doesn’t make sense to go back on that.” Councillor Mackay says there was a bit of a facelift, but a lot more work needs to be done to make it habitable.

Wall says the District has an agreement with the Chamber to manage tourism, but they are also managing the building, sort of. “It hasn’t been clarified. Do we want the basement area to be managed by someone in the Community Centre? We need to look at the agreement.”

Councillor Howe says he doesn’t want to be handcuffed by Chamber as to how the District uses their own building.

Wall says that is a discussion for another time. He suggests Council shouldn’t make a motion about the space, but make a motion that they support that the Geopark Manager move in there.

Councillor Scott asks about how long the Chamber’s agreement is in place. Wall says long enough that they should renegotiate.

Mayor McPherson points out the Chamber did submit a letter of support for having the Geopark Manager in there, so they’re for it. Council agrees.


Councillor Scott says staff has drafted a new terms of reference. There will be two Councillors, a rep from Northern Health, and between five and eight community members. Staff has merged the Family Needs portfolio into Building Healthy Communities portfolio. Operating as Building Healthy Communities as it opens it up to grants.

Also, she says, the Province has a survey they want completed. She wants to know who should do it. Councillor Krakowka said he did it last year.


Item brought forward from the PPC meeting held December 9, 2015.

Councillor Howe says that Tim Croston brought forward the one about ATVs; that’s the only one he knows. Councillor Mackay asks if there’s anything in writing for that motion. Howe says no, he thought it was coming to this meeting for discussion. Right now the Province has control over municipal roadways. Right now you can cross roads at stop lights. Resolution of Wells was why can’t each municipality have control over own roadway. We are not like Dawson Creek. You have that power over snowmobiles, but not ATVs.

Councillor Scott asks for guidance on other recommendations. She has one that she would like to propose but needs to do more homework.

Mayor McPherson says we’ve got all these requests in to province. He says if the Government builds a park at the end of the road, they should have some responsibility to maintain that.

Councillor Kirby says she asked the museum, and they’ve produced a resolution for them to protect the paleontological record of the province.

Mayor says there was some issue around duplication of motions. “I don’t know what the rules are”.

Wall says NCLGA is a politicians event. Staff can do the legwork, but it’s a politicians events. Councillors need to take control of this, he says, and staff will help put the final polish on it. “Right now we’re batting around four different things, which would be a week’s worth of work to get all this information. And we can only submit so many.” He recommends focusing on one or two.

Councillor Howe says the museum one is basically all ready. Wall says the ATV one is also a fair ways along. “We’re at a point where staff could come in and help with those. Do you want to move forward with those two?”

Councillor Scott says she is on the planning committee for this year’s NCLGA. She can get some clarification on the number of motions that can be made.

Councillor Kirby says the one that we should be fighting for most is control of our roadways. We need to be fighting for this one. Especially since all the other provinces are doing this, adds the Mayor.

Councillor Howe says he’s willing to take on the ATV issue. Councillor Kirby will take on the Paleontological motion.


Item brought forward from the Council meeting held December 16, 2015

Mayor says Quintette reunion is coming up. He suggests an event at that to celebrate Clay, as he was part of the Quintette thing. Councillor Mackay says Aleen Torraville talked to Marg Wheeler, who is organizing the event, and she thinks it’s a great idea.

Councillor Scott asks what form would this take? Councillor Mackay says there was a presentation of the street sign already, but no event.

Councillor Caisley says he thought this had already been done. “I’m not objecting to it, I just don’t understand.” Mayor says when the sign was presented, it was the middle of winter, and there was talk of a BBQ or something, but it fell off the table. “I just thought because of the reunion, it might be the time to do it, as they all know who Clay is.”

Councillor Krakowka asks if it is too late to do it. Councillor Mackay says this would just put closure on the issue. Councillor Howe says he doesn’t have a problem with either way. “It’s a good idea, but it’s a pretty jam-packed event already. And Clay did what he did for the town, not for Quintette.”

Mayor says a lot of the people who left town thought the town was going to shut down. Maybe it is too late, he admits, but maybe make the inquiry.  “If they don’t want to, then at least we asked.”


Councillor Krakowka Recuses himself. Mayor says he has been talking to Doug Beale, who told him the backup ambulance hasn’t been in town for last three months. Northern Health is renting a bay at public works, but for the last three months there has been no ambulance, he says. “There was an event this weekend when they could have needed two ambulances, but fortunately they didn’t.” Not having the second car ties up Fire Department, and he want to send a letter to invite BC Ambulance to come before Council and discuss what’s happening. He asks if Council is in support. Yes.


Wall says staff had a meeting to discuss possible topics of conversation and questions that might come up at meeting. He asks Council to come into event about twenty minutes before hand so they can prepare for the meeting. Councillor Howe asks if there is a technical question, can they defer the question to staff? Councillor Mackay says he wouldn’t be comfortable discussing things that he isn’t 100 percent of.

Wall says though the format of the meeting isn’t to put staff in the hot seat. “If there are questions you don’t know the answer to, it’s okay to say ‘we’ll find you the answer,’” says Wall. “Let’s get you guys informed so you can answer. In the future, I hope to prepare better, but right now we only have a few days.”

Councillor Scott asks if anyone is taking minutes? Wall says this is Council’s meeting, so if there’s anything they want to remember, they should write it down, or better yet, ask to speak to the person after the meeting so they can get their number and meet with the community,” says Wall.