NEWS — Members of the City’s heritage commission will take their case for independence directly to City council.
Chair Andrew Yarmie said today a commission meeting this week resulted in a 6-1 vote to stay the course against a merger with the Community Arts Commission, a move that has been proposed by City Hall staff.
Council was asked Tuesday by staff to approve the terms of reference for a new Arts and Culture Commission that would combine the Kamloops Heritage Commission and the arts commission.
When Yarmie learned the merger was on the agenda, he wrote a last-minute letter to council asking that a decision be postponed. Council agreed by a majority vote to put it off till its next meeting April 29.
Yarmie said he and the commission will be on the agenda for that meeting to elaborate on their reasons for opposing the merger. “It doesn’t seem logical that 34 years of good work should be lost,” he said.
Yarmie said the two commissions have never gotten together to discuss the merger.
One of the reasons given by staff for wanting to merge the commissions was difficulty in getting quorums but Yarmie said two members of the heritage group have had to miss several meetings for personal reasons and the quorum issue can be overcome.
His letter to council this week said commission members believe it will be harder to maintain public awareness of heritage issues if the two groups are combined.
“Some feel that the cultural commission will be too large and be beyond their comfort zone in providing input.
“The combined duties and responsibilities of arts and heritage is too broad and will lead to inefficiency and be counterproductive of the existing mandates.”
The commissions are advisory bodies that provide input to council.