Heritage group deserves to speak its mind

WEDNESDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — There’s an old saying that goes like this: when in doubt, wait.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat would have been good advice for City staff to take heed of when bringing forward a plan to merge the Kamloops Heritage Commission with the City’s arts commission.

The arts commission has been silent on the merger but heritage commission members have been making themselves clear — they don’t like it.

Tuesday, staff put the terms of reference for the merger on the agenda for City council’s consideration but neglected to inform the heritage commission. In view of the unhappiness within the heritage commission about the merger, it would have made sense to make sure its members weren’t surprised.

When commission chair Andrew Yarmie took a look at the council agenda, he fired off a letter to council expressing his group’s displeasure and asking for a decision to be delayed. Council agreed.

There are reasons for this misfire that have to do with a lack of communication. City arts and culture manager Barb Berger usually attends commission meetings, but she was away when the last one was held. The next one isn’t until tonight.

So, there was no opportunity for the commission to become aware via normal channels that the terms of reference for the merger were coming forward for approval.

But that just means somebody dropped the ball. Not a really big ball, maybe, but big enough that there are clearly some bruised feelings on the heritage commission that just keep getting bruisder and bruisder.

It will all end the same — the merger will go through. Heritage commission members will continue to be unhappy. Maybe some will quit. They’ll certainly have their suspicions that they aren’t appreciated confirmed.

Which is all very unfortunate, because they do important work.

About Mel Rothenburger (6803 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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