In the wake of the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s 19-1 vote against sharing space in the White Building with the City of Nelson, the Star has been canvassing directors for their reasons. Six responses appeared Friday, and four more are below. Further responses from the remaining seven directors, if received, will appear this Friday.
LARRY BINKS, Rural Creston
I based my vote on the fact it appears by the extensive spatial plan at our current location there is really no need to move at this time and possibly cause disruption in our service to the taxpayer and also to our staff.
PAUL PETERSON, Arrow Lakes
I believe the City of Nelson was presumptuous in thinking the RDCK owed them something because we said OK to their request to present a proposal. I’m not ready to move out of our building and I’m not sure if our staff wants to move. The 19 to 1 vote says something and maybe Nelson council should reflect on it.
ANDY DAVIDOFF, Rural Castlegar
My decision to vote against relocating the RDCK office was based on the following:
1) I was very surprised that the space planning analysis of our building showed that we could remain in our current location for the foreseeable future with a reconfiguration of our offices and storage of our records, files, etc.
2) That any such office reconfiguring could be easily covered by our current building reserves with no additional taxation of our ratepayers.
3) I shared the analogy with Mayor Dooley of how home owners analyze their needs and financial capabilities and make decisions on making renovations to their existing homes to meet their growing family needs or selling the same and moving to a home that does. (”Love it or list it”)
4) I believe the city had a good proposal but I decided that the space-planning study and reconfiguration allowed us to renovate within our existing budget and would minimize upheaval to our staff and operations and made the most fiscal sense to our collective ratepayers at this time.
So, for all the above reasons I made a business decision to vote against moving out of our existing home, or to love it and to proceed with the proposed fiscally prudent reconfiguration.
RAMONA FAUST, Rural Nelson
The RDCK serves 58,000 people and 29,000 households, many of which are rural and have the RDCK as their sole local government so moving is a serious endeavour.
A committee which the City of Nelson and I were both part of in 2012 had many potential options to consider to solve space issues but recommended we look at ways of making our operations more efficient at the current location. Staff were carrying out the direction of the board when Nelson asked us to consider a proposal.
We own our building paid for by pooled funds of rural areas and can direct our own building maintenance costs and we have a reserve fund to accommodate changes.
We didn’t need to move and our renovations are about $140,000 to stay at our current location. The rest of the expenditure is regulation file cabinets and furniture to replace outdated and inefficient cubicle placement much of which would also be required if we moved but were not accounted for in the White Building proposal.
Organizational capacity is an issue with staff being responsible for several large projects at this time and I see moving disrupting these processes which we need at least a year to complete.
Nelson Proposal: Cost savings were speculative and some seemed overvalued while renovation costs seemed undervalued which would have put RDCK at risk for going over budget and requiring taxation.
The lack of competitive offers was problematic and we did not need to go through a request for proposal process to engage other vendors as we didn’t need to move.
I would have wanted public assent before disposing of an asset and changing operations and public accessibility from one to three floors.
I was uncomfortable not putting the RDCK building for sale on the open market to see what benefit might come back to the RDCK.
The staff and consultant’s report was a good overview.