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REPORTING · 11th March 2011
Walter McFarlane
Mary Montero stepped up to the stand at the Kitimat City Council Meeting on Monday, February 21st to speak to the recreation of an Advisory Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

“I understand that Council is giving third reading to a bylaw for a stand alone commission for persons with disabilities of which I am in favour of. I believe that people who have disabilities should have the opportunity to participate in issues affecting their retirement,” said Montero.

She presented Council with the requirements for Handicapped Parking and explained the locations and stalls were not an adequate size. She said the handicapped stalls are simply regular parking stalls which have been painted blue. She said wheel chairs take up a lot of space and they do not just take up a handicapped parking stall.

She said she would be pleased to sit on the commission and she has already submitted a letter. Monaghan agreed the stalls were not big enough and thanked her for bringing it.

This topic came up again under bylaws. Councillor Corrine Scott wished to amend the bylaw they gave first reading to at the previous regular meeting to reduce the number of people to sit on the commission from 7 down to 5. The reason she gave for this is so the group has quorum if they cannot find enough volunteers. She also wished to have them meet at least once a year.

Feldhoff pointed out the Advisory Planning Commission was having a problem getting quorum out to their meetings.

Councillor Randy Halyk stated there were problems finding people to sit on this particular board. He said the Advisory Recreation Commission had already started to work on this project.

Scott said this was not finding fault with the ARC. However, the staff members from the ARC would be the same ones advising the new commission, the meetings would not be in the evenings when the people with disabilities would not be able to attend.

Halyk stated he was concerned they were watering down commissions. “I have nothing against this commission. What I am really concerned about is the waste of time that Council has had on this issue. We ran the bylaw, changed the bylaw last year, and now we are changing it again. What happens another year from now when we don’t get quorum on a committee. Do we start all over again? I think we have to be very careful how many times we play around with things,” said Halyk.

“I’ll call the question because I guess if it is, you’ll all speak to ten times to it again like you did tonight,” joked Monaghan.

The amendment was carried. The motion was given second reading and was motioned to have third reading. Halyk wished to speak to this as well. Monaghan called him out because he was the one who said they would probably waste time on it next year.

“We absolutely are wasting time here. We all know that. We have wasted a lot of time here and my only comment is, we have to look at this in the future and not waste time,” said Halyk.

On Monday, March 7th, Council gave the bylaw final adoption. Councillor Randy Halyk was not present at this time. Councillor Feldhoff was opposed to the final adoption.