Montrose: New policy, bear bylaw in the works

In its review of village policies, Montrose council approved a new “Delegations to Council Policy” application form last week.

In its review of village policies, Montrose council approved a new “Delegations to Council Policy” application form last week.

“If we ask residents to fill this out, are we preventing them from speaking to council in a timely manner?” questioned Coun. Cindy Cook. “I don’t want people coming in asking to speak to council and we send them home with a form to fill out before they can come back.”

Historically, Montrose residents could phone the village or submit a letter outlining a matter of concern along with a request to speak to council during its bi-monthly meeting.

Now, the village’s policy includes “Form A,” which is an application to appear as a delegation that includes a section formally requesting details of presentation.

The goal of the policy is to provide direction in the handling of requests to appear as a delegation and to give council time to review the material, explained Kevin Chartres, chief administrative officer.

In addition, the written applications must be submitted to the village office by 4 p.m. one week prior to the council meeting.

“If something comes up that staff deems important and needs to be heard right away the application won’t limit the process,” he said. “But most of the time, we need to review the matter prior to the meeting.”

This summer, delegates discussed village issues ranging from increased bear sightings and the lack of a bear bylaw, to a review of crime statistics by Greater Trail RCMP Sergeant Rob Hawton,  and most recently, concerns about the installation of smart meters.

In response to the delegate who spoke about the bear problem around his Montrose residence, village staff was directed to action and researched existing B.C. local government bear bylaws to determine a suitable plan, said Chartres.

“The bylaw is at draft stage, and we are waiting for comments from legal counsel.”