At the first special council meeting since the election on Tuesday, October 29, councillors were recommended to disband nine out of a possible 16 committees.
In the agenda, councillors were given three options – one being: ‘Abolish/disband those committees which have fulfilled their purpose or terms of reference, have become redundant due to changes in council programs, such as Community Capital Request Program, or have been superseded by contemporary models of engagement that facilitates greater participation from stakeholders’.
Cr Kenyon, who has been in local government for more than 20 years, said it was the first time council was recommended to disband committees.
‘It’s very sad we go down this approach and it’s to make councillors antiquated, and ratepayers, which I find very disappointing,’ he said.
‘It’s the first time ever ” council has always been there for its community and it’s always been there for consultation.’
Cr Kenyon was most disappointed about the recommendation to disband the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP) Advisory Committee and the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC).
As part of the recommendations, council was advised to support the establishment of a Disability and Inclusion Team and youth advisory working group.
Cr Kenyon, who started the DAIP committee and chaired it for 12 years, said the recommendation was very offensive.
He moved to re-establish a DAIP committee and to defer the decision to disband the YAC until youth were consulted.
Both motions were carried following lengthy debates, with the decision to continue the DAIP committee getting a round of applause from the gallery.
However, Mayor Sylvan Albert said the decisions weren’t ‘taking anything away’ because it was a team verses a committee and that he didn’t see the difference.