September 16, 2015 - 8:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops councillor walked out of council chambers in the middle of a meeting yesterday because his colleagues disagreed with him.
Coun. Donovan Cavers wanted to see a change in how Kamloops councillors are voted to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board and wanted staff to look at how other communities voted on or appointed council members to other boards.
Currently six spots on the district board are reserved for Kamloops councillors. Each councillor puts forward their own name for a spot and those in council vote for each other.
Cavers said the current voting procedure is unfair. He called the elections 'survivor week' because councillors lobby each other to be on the board and usually those who are already on, get back on. The position is not just for prestige, power and responsibility, remuneration for board members ranged from $12,000 to $28,000 last year.
Immediately after his motion was defeated six to three, Coun. Marg Spina made a notice of motion asking that district board members remain the same until 2018.
Cavers tried to get Mayor Peter Milobar’s attention repeatedly while Spina was talking, even speaking over her. He immediately objected to the new motion, adding an amendment for a new vote at the end of the current term in November. But Coun. Arjun Singh made plain what Cavers was missing in the discussion.
“The six of us that are on right now aren’t going to vote for anyone else," Singh told Cavers. "You brought this situation up, you forced me to say that, in a way. I didn’t want to put that out there.”
During this time Cavers was packing his bag and put his coat on.
While he received support again from both Dudy and Walsh, his amendment was also defeated. Cavers stood up and walked out of the room before the meeting concluded.
“I was just annoyed with the TNRD thing. The whole TNRD discussion,” Cavers says of why he left early.
He is particularly taken aback by Singh’s comments, saying it’s in the regional district’s best interest to change it up.
“The way I see it, the TNRD is a microcosm of the need for electoral reform,” Cavers says. “Stagnation isn’t the best way to represent the City of Kamloops on the TNRD.”
He says the district’s board doesn’t really change unless someone resigns or a new spot is added.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015