Parks and Recreation committees to return

By Karen Fallon

Council agreed not to go with the concept of a combined Recreation and Parks Committee and instead keep the status quo of two individual groups.

In January 2011, following a recommendation from administration, council agreed to ‘hold in abeyance’ the appointment of the Recreation and Parks Committee while the Terms of reference and structure of the new Committee could be formalized.

“I think one of the issues is and I will ball park it at 50 per cent of the time, the recreation committee lacked quorum,” said councillor John Sutton. “It was certainly not through the fault of the leadership of that committee, be it administration, the chairperson, or the members of the committee that representated the user groups.”

A problem, continued Sutton, was that the members of the committee really didn’t understand the mandate of the committee and there was an overlap between the two committees.

“It was their suggestion that we combine the two so that they would have more bang for their buck,” said Sutton. “I would hate for us to take a postion where we feel like a fifty per cent time quorum for volunteers is  value added for them.”

“I think that separating the committees doesn’t jive with that objective,” he continued.

Councillor Diane Pouget says when talking to people in the community who were formerly involved with the recreation committee it was felt that there were reasons the recreation committee wasn’t as successful as it might have been.

“The parks committee had a mandate and they knew what that mandate was,” said Pouget, who noted that combining the two committees would result in something that was “too broad.”

The parks committee, she noted was made up of “special people” who for the most part have expertise in the area and they didn’t have any interest with the local sports groups.

Members of the recreation committee should be broader than just representatives of the various user groups, says councillor Carolyn Davies, who advised that the town advertise for members of the committee.

“Have a committee that you have attendance taken and if you miss three times without just cause…they have to be committed to this,” she said. “If they specialize in their own areas (the groups) they will be more interested in attending all of the meetings.”

“It is the people you put on the committee that are going to make the difference,” agreed councillor Bart DiPasqualie.

However, noted councillor Robert Pillon, there is a need to have representatives from the different user groups on the recreation committee to garner their opinion of various matters.

“We had a good group a good mix,” Pillon said of the former recreation committee.

Pamela Malott says the terms of reference for the two groups will come back to council before committee members are sought.

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