It is a lot easier to track how one’s political representative in the region voted, thanks to policy revision at the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
The board has amended its procedural bylaw to record in the minutes members who vote contrary to the majority on a given matter.
TNRD CAO Scott Hildebrand said the procedural bylaw changed in the last few meetings to reflect which directors voted in contrary to a motion.
“We record that now,” he said. “I think that’s important and I think it’s something other jurisdictions practice.”
In practice, it works like this: if a motion goes forward to the board for decision and it passes, with a minority of directors voting in opposition, those opposed would be recorded in the TNRD meeting minutes. On the flip side, if a motion fails, those who vote in favour would be recorded.
Previously, no record of how one’s director voted existed and residents complained about a lack of transparency. Residents, who live throughout a large area, may have not been able to make it to a meeting, usually held in Kamloops, and the regional district did not broadcast or stream its meetings prior to the pandemic.
In February 2019, TNRD director Mel Rothenburger proposed that votes be tallied on the record, but the suggestion was voted down by the board.
Former TNRD CAO Sukh Gill had previously said counting votes would be challenging for more than two-dozen directors and that the process of not counting votes followed legislation.