Courtenay council unanimous about economic development review

Courtenay council unanimously voted in favour of the proposed scope of work for reviews of the Comox Valley Economic Development Society.

Courtenay council unanimously voted Tuesday in favour of the proposed scope of work for reviews of the Comox Valley Economic Development Society (CVEDS).

The draft scope of work for the service review, (which looks at all aspects of CVEDS), and contract performance review of CVEDS is expected to come before the Comox Valley Regional District for final consideration in mid-May.

Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard called the scope of work comprehensive, and noted the importance of performance reviews.

“Whether it is to quell the critics or raise concerns that we get the best bang for our buck, I think that it’s — you know, it works for all of us to do the best job that we can,” she said.

Coun. Jon Ambler, a director on the CVRD board, used the opportunity to explain why he voted to further delay the service review of CVEDS — which was originally supposed to be done in 2012 — during a February CVRD meeting this year.

“The CVEDS, right at this moment, is redoing their strategic plan and they said since we’ve already missed the (2012) deadline, what’s the harm in delaying it for a few months until their strategic study is done?” said Ambler. “So that’s why we voted against this plan as the regional district.”

During that February CVRD meeting, Comox director Tom Grant motioned to delay the reviews until the end of 2014. While his motion was supported by Ambler and fellow Courtenay directors Bill Anglin, Manno Theos and Starr Winchester, the motion was narrowly defeated.

Ambler noted Tuesday some public upset over those votes in favour of the Grant motion: “There was later criticism of saying we were against transparency; that’s actually not the case.”

Coun. Bill Anglin, who represents Courtenay on the CVEDS board of directors, agreed and added looking at CVEDS’ future plans may be better than looking at the past.

“With a new five-year plan coming into place, I thought it was perhaps better to see whether or not that direction is of greater import than what has gone on in the past,” he said.

“To look at what’s happened — if there’s a significant change in strategic planning going forward — is less important than it is to say since the strategic plan’s been in place the relationships are better, and moving forward and moving in the right direction.”

He also noted the contract review is due in 2014, and linking the two together in terms of timing made sense to him.

“The linking of those two functions together led some people to believe it was about not having an actual review done; it wasn’t,” said Anglin. “It was merely administrative and trying to ensure that you get the best possible report as opposed to one that just merely meets an expediency requirement.”

The reviews are required by legislature and are expected to be completed by an independent consultant.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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