The Regional District Okanagan Similkameen Board of Directors’ October 4 meeting had a moderate agenda attached to it.
The directors met for two committee meetings and a regular board meeting, all of which was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and finish at 11:30.
It was a bit of a surprise, then, to note that the directors were also scheduled to have a taxpayer funded lunch afterwards.
It appears that for the most part, as goes the economy, so goes politics. That is, when the economy is slow, so are politics. There aren’t as many grants to spend, variances to approve, or new legislation to discuss.
As a matter of fact, several other RDOS board meetings this year ended around noon, and one regular meeting in August was actually cancelled because of a lack of agenda – which is fine. When there is nothing to discuss, there is no need to waste time meeting.
A couple of those other meetings that ended around noon did not include lunch in the agenda, which makes it even more curious as to why it would be included in an agenda that was scheduled to end before noon. Was there a backlash from director(s) used to the privilege, insisting that lunch be provided at each regular meeting?
Let’s face it – free food at a director’s meeting is a perk. It is provided in order for meetings to continue through the day with a minimum of interuption that would otherwise be caused from everyone going their own separate ways for food throughout some of the long days that can make up regular board meeting.
But nowadays, in a slow economy that has created a definite lack of imperative for government business as well, everyone should be cutting back when and where they can – even those with controls on the public purse.
Our local politicians need to adjust to tight economic times like the rest of society – and learn to police themselves when it comes to freebies at the taxpayers’ expense.