Going public: recording of RDCK meetings set to come online in March

The regional district board is looking to go where no board has gone before.

The board of directors of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has directed its staff to record the regular open board meetings — beginning in March 2024 — using the WebEx tool “until such time as other technology can be implemented to record the open board meetings.”

The recording of the board meetings will be the first of its kind since the RDCK was created in 1965 by the Province. “I made this motion because it is one of my priorities to improve transparency of the RDCK,” said Area E director Cheryl Graham, as the director that brought the issue to light and into the decision-making wheelhouse of the board of directors in January.

It was time to bring it forward, she said.

“Residents should have access to RDCK board meetings without having to attend in person or online at the time of the meeting,” said Graham.

She noted that other regional district boards across B.C. were already recording and cataloguing public meetings.

“I could not find any regional district representative at UBCM (Union of B.C. Municipalities) that was not already recording their board meetings,” said Graham.

There are benefits beyond public transparency and accountability, she explained.

“Lastly, it would be a benefit to directors who miss a meeting and want to be fully updated,” she said.

The motion does not require an amendment to the RDCK Procedures Bylaw, Graham explained, and the technology is currently available. In addition, RDCK staff have developed a policy that is currently out for comments until March 8.

“I look forward to RDCK board meetings being recorded and those recordings being available to the public through the RDCK website in the near future,” she stated.

Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily