There may be some frustration about the pace of change to date, but by and large enthusiasm abounds at the BC Mayors' Caucus and its potential, said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.
Whistler's mayor was in Cranbrook at the end of last week, along with 50 to 60 B.C. mayors, for the fifth meeting of the caucus, which meets twice a year, since 2012.
She admitted that the topics of conversation at the meeting are the same ones that have been dominating the last four — concerns about downloading, concerns about getting municipal voices heard.
That is "a little frustrating," she said, though she admits it takes time and effort to change attitudes and approaches.
"We really haven't got the traction that we really ought to get so I'm cautiously optimistic that will change, but it's going to require hard work," she said.
"As a group, we come with considerable amount of authority and legitimacy."
There is a Steering Committee that is working at getting doors open in Victoria;it has had some success, said Wilhelm-Morden. The group is also working cooperatively with Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).
"It's a fascinating organization," said the mayor of the caucus. "It needs a lot of attention to keep the momentum going."
The members of the BC Mayors' Caucus have renewed the call for 10 action items. They are:
• the creation of a Premier's Roundtable with the BC Mayors' Caucus to discuss public policy changes that affect local government budgets and delivery of services;
• elimination of the ad hoc granting process in favour of one that is sustainable, accountable, quantifiable and allows for long-term planning by local governments;
• review the mandate of the Municipal Auditor General;
• develop a roundtable on aging infrastructure that includes federal, provincial and local government participation;
• re-affirm the core service delivery of each order of government;
• if services are devolved to local governments, a sustainable revenue source for those services must be identified;
• develop a coordinated approach as to how social services are delivered;
• call for a full review of ambulance service delivery;
• establish flexibility around the federal gas tax and the Build Canada Fund to be goal oriented to the priorities of the specific communities; and
• update on the status of the 2010 Regional Districts Task Force.
The next BC Mayor's Caucus will take place Sept. 22 in Whistler during the annual UBCM convention.
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