Letters from a few concerned residents prompted Coun. Doug Hockley to move a new cat regulation bylaw at the July 4 Sechelt council meeting, although the idea was short-lived.
Three residents submitted letters calling for the need to regulate cats in a similar way to dogs, which council discussed briefly.
“I’m going to champion this particular deal and not with tongue in cheek either,” Hockley said, adding other communities in B.C. have laws requiring owners to register their cats as well as dogs. “They don’t discriminate. They inclusively bring them into the category of pets whether it’s a cat a dog a monkey or whatever it is.”
Coun. Chris Moore said the idea of regulating cats was a “total waste of time.”
He said more bylaw officers would need to be hired to chase around the cats seen as intruding into nearby yards and public places.
“This is just a big hairball,” he said. It’s a big waste of time and energy.
When the question was called Hockley, councillors Alice Lutes and Darnelda Siegers were willing to move the proposed bylaw forward. Moore, councillors Mike Shanks, Tom Lamb and mayor John Henderson were against, effectively defeating the motion.
During the July 4 meeting, a small gallery of people found out exactly what it cost taxpayers to fire Sechelt’s CAO and corporate officer earlier this year.
Council accepted a report from their chief financial officer regarding the statement of financial information for 2011. It showed that approximately $255,000 went to two negotiated severance payouts for former CAO Rob Bremner and past corporate officer Jo-Anne Frank.
The cost showed up in the 2011 report because “the employment of two senior staff members was terminated subsequent to year end,” the report read.
The plan to pave Mason, Heritage and Sandpiper roads at a cost of $625,000 is stalled as the District works to gain ownership of all the portions of roadway.
“We’re currently still consulting with some of the property owners and some others to get the approvals in place,” Henderson said. “So all being well we’ll have that resolved within the next several weeks, at which point we would get going.”
He said the District will hire BA Blacktop to do the paving but said if roadway ownership issues can’t be resolved, the District won’t be on the hook to pay.
“It’s complete rumours that we would have to pay for the contract and not get anything done. There’s just nothing in that,” he said.
The District of Sechelt is one of the first communities in the province to receive an age-friendly B.C. recognition.
“This recognition acknowledges your leadership in making changes to ensure British Columbians can age actively, live in security, enjoy good health, and continue to participate fully in society,” a letter from the Ministry of Health said. “It confirms that your community has completed key milestones of commitment, engagement, assessment and planning for an age-friendly community.”
The letter was accepted by council July 4, with Henderson drawing attention to the fact Sechelt was one of the first honoured.
The District will now receive a $1,000 grant to create an age-friendly legacy project and recognize those who have worked on local age-friendly initiatives.