Thursday, January 28, 2016

Councillor Mirau's Small Business Advisory Committee Terms sent back to the writer's workshop

Councillor Mirau will have to tweak
his proposed Terms of Reference for a
committee on Small Business and
Community Services
While City Council did approve the Terms of Reference for two committees on Monday evening, hopes of moving forward on the Advisory Committee for Small Business and Community Services had a bit of set back as Councillor Mirau's concept of consultation met with some opposition from Councillor Thorkelson.

As he opened his presentation, Councillor Mirau highlighted the focus of his Committee which is designed to develop a better spirit of collaboration and gain perspectives from the community that they don't normally hear at Council. Adding that one of the goals of the committee is to make it easier for business to operate and grow in the community.

When it comes to the  Committee structure, he noted that the Committee would be accepting resumes and the involvement of small business owners, developers, and different people like that who could provide their perspectives. 

However, a number of red flags appeared from the Terms for Councillor Joy Thorkelson, who in particular had much to say on the nature of the tasks to be taken on by the Committee and expressed a fair bit of concern over having outside interests such as the Chamber of Commerce involved in advising Council on just about everything, asking what the purpose of the committee was.

She outlined her hesitation at having the business community looking over Council's shoulder, advising council on every issue that they look at, noting that reviewing small business issues was a legitimate task for a committee, but that she didn't think she wanted the Chamber of Commerce reviewing major bylaws, local and regional land use, park planning and other land base issues.

By the time she had finished her review of the proposed Committee structure, she had effectively questioned the majority  of the points provided by Councillor Mirau.

Councillor Cunningham also outlined a few of his concerns over the wording of the Terms and the impact that they could have on the workload of city staff.

As well he offered up some thoughts when it comes to the engagement of the committee members and who they would report to or inquire information from.

In one last attempt to try and move his initiative forward, Councillor Mirau noted that the underlying philosophy for the committee would be to try and make it easier for business to succeed and grow in Prince Rupert, adding that the city needs to grow its tax revenues every year and that the committee would provide an avenue to receive feedback from the movers and shakers in the community that Council doesn't receive on a regular basis.

To bring the discussion to a close, Council voted to accept a suggestion from Councillor Niesh that would see Mr. Mirau withdraw the current terms of reference and fine tune the presentation for another run by Council in the future.

You can look over what Councillor Mirau had hoped to have below, might make for an interesting comparison to how the Committee eventually looks like whenever Council approves the new terms.

The Terms of Reference for the Small Business committee
are heading for a rewrite

(click to enlarge)

More on the discussion can be  found on our Council Timeline feature, and You can review the full back and forth on the topic from the City's Video Archive starting at the 2 hour thirty one minute mark.

For more items related to Monday's Council session see our Council Discussion Archive page here.

No comments:

Post a Comment