Nelson mayor John Dooley

Balance of power shifts at RDCK table

Nelson now has more voting clout at the Regional District of Central Kootenay table but neither the mayor nor chair think it’s a big deal.

Nelson now has more voting clout at the Regional District of Central Kootenay table but neither the mayor nor the chair think it’s a big deal.

Due to increases in population on the 2011 census, Nelson, Castlegar, and Creston, and one of the rural areas around Castlegar will each get more say on resolutions requiring a weighted vote — those affecting operation and administration of services, contracts, or the financial plan.

Voting units are based on populations of 2,500. Anything less than 2,501 is attributed one vote. Each additional 2,500 is worth another vote.

For Nelson, whose population increased on the last census from 9,258 to 10,230, it means a voting strength of five instead of four; Castlegar, which jumped from 7,259 people to 7,816, gets four votes instead of three; and Creston, which went from 4,826 to 5,306 people, now has three votes instead of two.

Area I, which includes Pass Creek, Thrums, Shoreacres, and Brilliant cracked the 2,500 mark, so it gets two votes instead of one. All other municipalities get one vote each, while the rural areas get one or two each.

As a result, the overall balance of power has shifted to the municipalities, whose combined 18 votes outweigh the rural electoral areas’ 17. Previously the split was 16 to 15 in favour of the rural areas.

But Nelson mayor John Dooley doesn’t think it matters much.

“Not really,” he said. “I suppose in some cases it could make a difference, but overall we have to look at the issues and vote according to what works best for the board and the municipality.”

Dooley added he doesn’t see an urban-rural divide on the board. “There has been in the past, but over the last few years we’ve been working issue by issue and I think overall it’s a fairly cohesive group.”

Chair John Kettle agreed, noting with the exception of Nelson, Castlegar, and Creston, the municipalities have smaller populations than the rural areas.

“I don’t think it changes the dynamics of the board at all,” he said. “We are a unique regional district but I don’t see any change in the way we approach business.”

While close votes are rare, Kettle said they could happen during budget time.

Just Posted

Nelson seniors take the chill out of winter with home energy upgrades

Over 100 seniors have signed up for free energy efficiency installations

Nelson Leafs hang on to edge Chase Heat 4-3

Nelson has won 14 of its last 15 games

Community Futures launches cannabis consultation program

The Cannabis Business Transition Initiative helps businesses move into the legal economy

Nelson receives over $400,000 in gaming grants

The annual funds are handed out to non-profit sports and arts organizations

Kootenay Patricks assemble to take on Montreal Canadiens alumni

The charity game takes place Jan. 23 in Nelson

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Striking Vancouver hotel workers, employer reach ‘tentative’ agreement

Employees of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia have been out at picket lines since talks broke off on Sept. 21

Environmental and animal rights activists chain themselves to front doors of Kelowna bank

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Cell phone tickets worse tax grab than speed limits, SenseBC says

Distracted driving statistics questioned as B.C. tickets pile up

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

Most Read