Shortage of volunteers sinks four committees

Township says resources were being stretched too thin

A shortage of volunteers to serve on community advisory committees was given as the reason behind a Township council decision to cut the number of the committees from eight to four.

The decision was made Monday night.

The vote during the public meeting was done quietly and quickly, with councillor Kim Richter voting against (Councillor David Davis was absent).

“This was not an easy decision to make,” mayor Jack Froese said.

“However, after conducting a detailed review of our committee structure and taking into account the low number of applications we receive, we realized our volunteer resources are being stretched.”

A report to council said vacancies on many committees remained unfilled several months after the Township began advertising in the fall of 2014, and some positions were not filled until March of this year, “well after the work plans had been approved and tasks assigned.”

Froese said council will use more task forces in the future, consisting of groups of volunteers who will study and make recommendations on specific topics during defined, shorter time frames.

“This means we can target issues as they arise and call on our volunteers to provide assistance and expertise, without overextending their efforts,” Froese said.

At the end of 2015, there will be four Council Advisory Committees: Agriculture Advisory and Economic Enhancement Committee (AAEEC), Heritage Advisory Committee (HAC), Recreation, Culture and Parks Advisory Committee (RCPAC), and Seniors Advisory Committee (SAC).

Youth community members will be added to each of the four committees and public safety issues will be addressed by the Council Priorities Committee, which is separate from the advisory committees.

“The Township of Langley greatly appreciates the time, knowledge, and effort that our volunteer appointees bring to our committees, and their efforts to enhance our community,” Froese said.

“We look forward to enacting this change and maximizing our use of volunteer resources.”