The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) will change its regularly scheduled committee of the whole (COW) meetings to regular board meetings, starting in June.
“Two board meetings would allow us a bit more flexibility to be a little bit more responsive when we need to be and also be a little more adaptable or flexible when that responsiveness can take advantage of opportunities,” said RDN Chair Tyler Brown.
The regional district will now only hold COW meetings at the discretion of the board.
“It’s not that we are getting rid of the committee of the whole,” said Vice-chair Vanessa Craig. “We would use the committee of the whole in a more targeted way, where we can actually dive into these discussions.”
Eight RDN directors were opposed to the new format when the board voted to carry a recommendation from its Executive Committee at the May 25 meeting.
Directors opposed said COW meetings are valuable for public engagement and give directors more opportunity to consider decisions.
“Most people do not pay attention to us until we get to something quite controversial,” said Director Leonard Krog. He said the regular COW meetings gave residents an opportunity to show interest when they decide they want to.
The next COW meeting, scheduled for June 8, will be changed to a board meeting. The executive committee will review the new format after six months.
The RDN said residents will be notified when COW meetings are held.