EDITORIAL: Transparency needed

It appears as if the City of Nelson and the Regional District of Central Kootenay have agreed to disagree when it comes to the use of the White Building. The question is why?

No one is denying the RDCK’s right to a democratic vote — a vote that ended up being 19-1 against sharing space in Nelson’s White Building — but surely the public is entitled to an explanation of why the vote was so lopsided.

At this time, no detailed explanation has come forth.

Neither the proposal submitted by the city, nor the consultant’s report back to the RDCK, which we can only assume suggested it was a bad idea, has been made public.

Again, we ask why?

Debate on the issue has remained in-camera (behind closed doors and away from the public and the media) due to possible disclosure of private information, perhaps real estate offers for the current RDCK building and other financial details.

But now that the decision has been made and voted on, it’s time to let the public make an educated decision for themselves.

The city has indicated that it is willing to release its proposal to the public. The RDCK says it will do the same with its consultant’s report, if a director requests that it be made public and if the board votes and agrees to release it.

John Kettle, RDCK board chair, told the Star he isn’t sure if the public can make an educated opinion on this matter because there are “so many things involved in this that are outside the presentation” and were dealt with in camera.

He’s probably right. All the more reason to bring those details out of the dark and enlighten the taxpayers.

It’s time for someone to file a Freedom of Information request. The city and the RDCK should check their emails.

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