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Boardwalk committee terms set

Photo provided by Town of Hinton

Masha Scheele

The purpose of a Beaver Boardwalk Committee (BBC) is to gather, study and discuss all relevant information regarding the Beaver Boardwalk condition and rehabilitation project in order to provide Council recommendations. 

Councillors discussed the details around the BBC’s terms of reference during the standing committee meeting on June 18.

The terms of reference state that the BBC is to be comprised of up to six members, including three appointed Town of Hinton Council representatives and three Town of Hinton administration representatives, which will be appointed by council.

The terms of reference were amended to name the mayor and two appointed town of Hinton council representatives to the Beaver Boardwalk instead of three council representatives and the mayor as ex officio.

“Where I think we have a challenge is if essentially we have quorum at a sub committee level, whatever they recommend essentially becomes an automatic vote in this room and to me, I don’t think that’s the best way of going about it. I think you want to stay under quorum in any of these smaller committees that we do so there is still a true and real opportunity for council to be part of that decision making process,” said Coun. Dewly Nelson.

Members of the committee will be responsible for obtaining, considering and presenting the input of stakeholders, incorporating all legislative laws, codes and other applicable best practices in the reports and recommendations, and attending scheduled meetings.

Coun. JoAnn Race urged council to consider incorporating two citizens-at-large into the core group of committee members.

“I really think it’s a missed opportunity if we don’t utilise the people that we have in our community. So many of us have jobs, work full time, these are people that are out walking the boardwalk, interacting with people every single day. To me, it’s a missed opportunity,” said Race.

Coun. Ryan Maguhn agreed with Race and stated that including citizens in the committee would help fight misperceptions in the community.

“One of the biggest things that we’ve dealt with when it comes to the beaver boardwalk and also the recreational area at large, are some of the dynamics and some of the pieces of complex information that citizens aren’t aware of and how it comes into play. I think this is actually a really good opportunity to engage some highly attuned citizens, so that they know the same sort of information council is getting and also consider it,” said Maguhn.

Not everybody agreed with Race and Maguhn, stating that while they see the value of citizens within the committee, the time it would take to nominate those individuals could take too long.

Coun. Dewly Nelson mentioned that the committee is only expected to be intact for six months with the possibility of putting some type of advisory board together in the future.

“The more pressing concern is in order to appoint citizens to one of these committees we have to go through nominating advertising, nomination process, and that likely means we are in September with the amount of regular council meetings before this committee can actually get to work and engage with stakeholders,” said Nelson.

Coun. Trevor Haas, Coun. Tyler Waugh, and Coun. Albert Ostashek echoed his concern and would like to see the committee get started on putting together recommendations for the future of the boardwalk.

“I would see the committee reaching out to community members if shown a lot of interest, we’re already aware of those community members. I would see that this committee sitting down and getting that feedback from the community members without having them sit at the committee table, it would also then not keep it to two members. It would be a variety of different community members, whether its groups like the Whiskey Jacks or other groups. I don’t want to isolate two individuals,” said Coun. Trevor Haas.

The committee will meet monthly and report to council at least twice.

Once in September to present a recommended vision and progress report and once in November to present a final report with recommendations for approval.

Another motion amended the Beaver Boardwalk Committee Terms of Reference to include a vision to be presented to and adopted by council prior to the proposed Beaver Boardwalk Committee’s third meeting.