Vote recording woes remedied

Central Saanich council will start recording who votes and how

A campaign concern over transparency was put to rest after council opted to adapt its procedures in Central Saanich.

Coun. Adam Olsen, one of the election candidates who heard concern from residents about the practice of not recording votes in the official minutes of council, is pleased to see the change.

The procedure bylaw said that when a council member requested, his or her vote would be recorded in the minutes.

That practice wasn’t followed until 2008. That was early in Olsen’s first term as councillor. For the last 18 months of his previous term the re-elected council member opted to have his votes registered each time.

“It’s a bit distracting to have to ask,” he said. “It became pretty clear that folks were concerned that we weren’t recording votes.”

The issue will come back before council, which asked staff to bring forward an amendment to the procedural bylaw to record the names of members on all votes on motions, positive or negative.

“The appetite is there for the whole council. They just really wanted the transparency because it really came up during the election that it was important to people,” said Coun. Cathie Ounsted, administration and finance committee chair.

The only exception would be on unanimous motions.