(Black Press Media file photo)

(Black Press Media file photo)

Motion calling for development of Saanich council voting dashboard postponed

Vote tracker already in municipal work plan, acceleration could delay other initiatives, staff say

Saanich residents will not be seeing a voting dashboard tracking council members’ votes in the near future.

During a Feb. 8 meeting, council considered a motion from Coun. Nathalie Chambers calling for a staff report on options for a voting dashboard to reflect council’s decisions. After a lengthy discussion and several attempts to amend the motion, council voted 5-4 to postpone it indefinitely.

READ ALSO: Saanich councillor calls for voting dashboard to increase transparency for residents

Chambers and Couns. Susan Brice, Judy Brownoff and Ned Taylor were opposed.

Staff explained that a voting dashboard was already in the municipal work plan and would come in about two years as part of a suite of updates to the current council software called Granicus.

CAO Paul Thorkelsson added that accelerating the process would take staff resources away from other projects council has prioritized.

READ ALSO: Saanich staggers property tax penalties for second straight year

Coun. Zac de Vries, who recommended postponing the motion, emphasized that no residents had reached out to request a voting dashboard and no councillors brought it up during the Strategic Plan check-in in January. He felt it was best for staff resources to be focused on more immediate priorities – such as implementing video conferencing technology for the public’s participation in council and committee meetings.

READ ALSO: Saanich extends public-free council meetings into spring

Chambers was disappointed to see her motion postponed because she felt accelerating the implementation of a voting dashboard would be in the public’s best interest.

Mayor Fred Haynes emphasized council’s voting record is already made public after every meeting through the minutes and video recordings.


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