Delta council has approved a major reshuffle of its advisory committees.
Council endorsed a staff recommendation that reduced the total number of committees of council by more than a third — from 18 to 11.
The move eliminates two previous committees, merges or otherwise modifies others that had commonalities, and creates four entirely new bodies.
The mayor’s public safety committee, for example, is a brand-new entity with a focus on emergency management, policy development, preventative safety measures and enforcement, and fulfills a campaign promise made by Mayor George Harvie in the run up to last October’s municipal election.
The committee will “provide a list of measures and actions that can be undertaken to improve public safety in Delta within six months of its inaugural meeting,” according to a report by city staff.
Also new this year is the mayor’s community investment standing committee, which will advise council on a variety of corporate financial matters. The committee is a merger of the previous mayor’s standing committee on finance, the financial assistance review committee and the invest in Delta mayor’s standing committee. City manager Sean McGill said bringing together those overlapping portfolios will make the feedback process more streamlined.
“In that one you’re going to have three members of council and three from the community, and it’s just bringing those ideas froward and asking them specifically, ‘how do you want to promote? What kind of issues do you want to promote?’” McGill explained.
“We bring budgets before them, policy, fee structure … to get some feedback from the committee before we approach council.”
The committee’s official mandate also includes advising on ways to promote investment throughout Delta and reviewing funding for non-profits and community groups.
The community liveability advisory committee is another new body made from the merging of several previous entities: the community planning advisory committee, the environment advisory committee, the seniors advisory subcommittee, and the mayor’s standing committee on regional transportation.
Its task will be to provide feedback on large-scale development proposals such as revitalization initiatives, significant zoning amendments, federal and provincial projects and amendments to the city’s official community plan.
This advisory body will also give its input on environmental issues and social planning (housing, transportation, senior and youth services, mental health and addiction).
The city is again looking to sow the seeds for a North Delta business association, similar to those in Tsawwassen and Ladner, by way of the new North Delta business initiative. The group will provide staff and council a better idea of the issues concerning businesses in the community. The city will provide clerical, staff and social media support, as well as a venue in which to meet, in the hopes that it will grow into an independent and self-sufficient BIA.
“What we’re trying to do is find a community event maybe to get someone to rally around, so that can be the impetus to starting it,” McGill told council Monday night, adding he has had to go to individual businesses in order to get some insight on the community.
“What we’re looking for is to have some kind of a business association that we can turn to.”
The new mayor’s task force on building permits and development applications will be made up of city staff and business representatives, led by the city manger, and provide advice to council on how to expedite the development application and building permit process in Delta.
Finally, the new Ladner Village renewal advisory committee will provide community advice on the best utilization of Delta-owned buildings in Ladner Village; possible streetscape and harbour waterfront design concepts; branding, communications and marketing for Ladner Village renewal; and strategic incentives to attract development and policies to facilitate the renewal.
The agricultural advisory committee will stay mostly as-is, as is the board of variance, while the parks, recreation and culture commission will be expanded to add heritage and cultural activities to its mandate. As well, the chair will be a community member and the vice-chair a member of council.
There will be no changes to the hunting regulation advisory committee, Tour de Delta board of directors or heritage advisory commission.
The Boundary Bay Airshow advisory board is morphing into a planning committee comprised of two city staff members and two representatives from Alpha Aviation Inc.
The dike and drainage advisory committee will become a technical staff committee with representatives from the city’s engineering department and community planning and development department, the Delta Farmers’ Institute representative, Port Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Basin Council, Tsawwassen First Nation and Delta fire department. The group will report to the agricultural advisory committee and to council.
Delta’s advisory design panel and Boundary Bay Airport advisory committee are being eliminated and replaced with internal reviews by directors and senior staff.
The city’s next task is to staff the new committees with council and community members for a one-year term beginning in March.
Applications to serve on the agricultural advisory committee, board of variance, community livability advisory committee, heritage advisory commission, hunting regulation advisory committee, Ladner Village renewal advisory committee, mayor’s public safety committee, parks, recreation and culture commission and Tour de Delta board of directors are currently being accepted. The deadline to apply is Feb. 15.
Applicants can submits their resumés and cover letters indicating their areas of interest, why they’d like to serve, and any relevant knowledge and experience they may have to Office of the City Clerk – Delta City Hall, 4500 Clarence Taylor Cres., Delta, B.C., V4K 3E2. Submissions can also be by fax to 604-946-3390 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information including committee and commission mandates, membership, agendas and minutes can be found at delta.ca or by contacting Michelle Jansson, deputy city clerk, at 604-946-3223 or email@example.com.