In your editorial of January 22 you quoted John Kettle, the RDCK chair, stating that “he isn’t sure that the public can make an educated opinion on this matter because there are ‘so many things involved in this that are outside the presentation’ and were dealt with in camera.”
While this prima facie is a “space” problem, it doesn’t take rocket science to deal with it.
I share the opinion of the Nelson Star that there appears to be plenty of reasons that the light of day should shine on this matter. I would like to think that many of the possible reasons would not exist in our community, honest as we all are.
As a rural taxpayer of the RDCK, I think both sides should level with the public — the City of Nelson in the interests of its citizens, and RDCK in the interests of ours.
We shouldn’t have to ask for a FOI procedure in this matter. The only justifications for such confidentiality are property transactions and confidential personnel matters. Perhaps it’s time we had one or two such confidential personnel decisions.
On a related issue, why does the RDCK feel the urge to expand? After all, it is not running Gotham City. And why aren’t its managers capable of making a few calculations to plan office space? It’s not rocket science after all. I would suggest a reasonable and healthy target would be for its staff to shrink by five per cent a year, not expand.
In a former letter some months ago when this issue first arose, I pointed out that it is the nature of civil service empires to grow, lacking the profit motive that keeps private concerns lean and healthy or prompt a visit to the bankruptcy courts.
Editor’s Note: Both the City of Nelson and the Regional District of Central Kootenay released information to the public regarding the issue, without the need for an FOI.