On Monday night

Kozak concerned about taxed City of Nelson staff

At least one councillor wants to be more choosey about the type of assignments that get added to the list.

With the backlog of projects waiting for attention from Nelson city staff, at least one councillor wants to be more choosey about the type of assignments that get added to the list.

At a meeting Monday, Councillor Deb Kozak was passionately opposed to adding a seemingly straight forward item to staff’s to-do list, arguing that every new request adds to the already long wait time that other projects are facing.

Councillor Robin Cherbo had put forward a motion to have staff develop a community health partnership between the City and Interior Health wherein both parties agree to promote health and wellness in Nelson.

Cherbo said the symbolic partnership wouldn’t require the City to do anything that it isn’t already doing and would cost nothing. Kozak argued that it wasn’t going to change anything, there was no point in doing it.

It can take years for City staff to get started on policy and bylaw work that isn’t considered high priority. Some projects requested more than three years ago still haven’t seen the light of day, including a request for an Aboriginal protocol and the creation of an art in public places reserve fund.

Cherbo said creating the community health partnership should be a medium priority on the to-do list, which means it wouldn’t likely be addressed for at least a year.

Kozak, the lone opponent to the motion, said the partnership was redundant, noting that promoting health is one of the first things mentioned in the city’s vision statement in its recently updated Official Community Plan.

Still a majority of councillors voted in favour of having staff create the new partnership — eventually.