I am writing to correct a misunderstanding created by a Nov. 7 story in the Grand Forks Gazette and subsequent letter to the editor on Nov. 14.
I believe the article created the impression that the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) board had decided to discourage or disallow public input and questions at RDKB board meetings. This is certainly not the case.
Currently, members of the public are welcome to speak to issues at meetings as presentations at the opening of the meeting. As a courtesy, so as to enable planning for the meeting, they are asked to contact the RDKB in advance to be included on the agenda.
At the beginning of the meeting, any items dealing with planning and development, which might involve questions or comment by interested parties are moved to the front of the meeting and affected parties are allowed to provide their input at the time of the decision.
Finally, at the conclusion of the meeting, members of the press or the public have an opportunity to address the board on items on the agenda or to ask questions.
What transpired at the Nov. 1 meeting in Grand Forks was a discussion of a general procedural bylaw for how meetings are conducted.
As part of this discussion, a motion arose during the meeting to allow an undefined “open mike” period at the onset of each board meeting. This motion was defeated and the whole bylaw was referred back to committee for further recommendations to the board. The intent is not to reduce public participation but how to make it productive and workable for the citizens and the board.
The RDKB is committed to meeting the needs of the public and will continue to do so in the future.