The rest of the Strathcona Regional District directors will allow the organization’s staff to open their mail, in an effort to match the board chair’s policy.
At the Jan. 22 board meeting, directors approved the change to how staff handle incoming correspondence.
Directors said that having staff handle their mail ensures something doesn’t get missed, as most of the electoral directors live a significant distance away and do not attend the Campbell River regional district office outside of scheduled meetings and other regional district business.
Directors asked to be included in the mail policy change earlier in January at the same time that the policy was altered for chair Jim Abram. But staff asked for additional time to write up the proper wording to change the bylaw which was passed two weeks ago.
Abram, who lives on Quadra Island, was the catalyst for the policy change after he approached regional district staff about having his mail opened for him as it arrives.
“As chair, there are things that come in that are time sensitive and need to be dealt with by the board,” Abram said at a board meeting in November. “There’s no sense for it to sit in my box for two or three days until I can get here, or have it mailed over to me, to find out it’s an ad for a new copier.”
Director Noba Anderson, who lives even further away – on Cortes Island – said in the past she missed out on an event after she was unable to get her mail at the board office for two weeks. The former practice, adopted in May, 2010, was for directors’ mail to be left unopened in his or her mailbox at the regional district office. Under the new policy, mail addressed to all directors will be opened and passed on to the directors.
“In its simplest terms, the policy will authorize staff to determine the most appropriate action to take with respect to any correspondence,” wrote Russ Hotsenpiller, chief administrative officer, in a report to the board.