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Unwelcome merger gets axed

Saving the Stuart Wood school is one of the projects the Heritage Commission is working on they feel could have been stifled by merging with the Arts Commission.
April 30, 2014 - 4:33 PM

KAMLOOPS — It began as a way to fix quorum issues but if the majority of the volunteers on a committee don’t want to merge with another committee what do you do? According to city council, the right thing.

Andrew Yarmie stood up on behalf of the Heritage Commission, which voted six to one in favour of asking council to keep the status quo and not merge the group with the Arts Commission to form a new Cultural Commission.

“The majority of members have expressed concerns about the merger,” he said. “We are opposed to a merger and would like to stay what we are. We need to stay resolved to our mission and mandate.”

The group reiterated quorum issues, related to when one member died suddenly in the summer of 2012, are in the past and they expect see them resolved in the near future. They have also heard from several residents who plan to apply when there is a vacancy.

Suggestions of using technology such as Skype or teleconferencing to allow members to join in meetings when they are out of town were welcomed by council, though it was agreed that decision would have to be about allowing all groups those same rights.

Mayor Peter Milobar said this is an example of something that should not have gotten as far as it did if the group feels as strongly as it does and has already put a plan in place to address meeting attendance.

“(This merger) was really because of the problems with reaching quorum and in finding new members. As unsettling as it may have been to the commission members it’s highlighted a new focus into it at the same time,” he said, adding afterwards, “This (conversation) shouldn’t have happened, it shouldn’t have gotten this far.”

Milobar also noted the merger proposal had nothing to do with the quality of the work, just how the committee was unfolding.

“It’s other commissions too,” he said, adding council will have to look at all committees in the near future. “What worked 30 years ago doesn’t work today.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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