Mayors to discuss common issues

Mayors from around the province are meeting in Penticton to discuss concerns they are facing.

Mayors from around the province are meeting in Penticton to discuss concerns they are facing.

The B.C. Mayors’ Caucus began on May 16 and continues until May 18.

More than 80 mayors from around the province are attending.

Mayor Janice Perrino of Summerland said the caucus is a chance for mayors to discuss items such as unions, highways, funding and health care as those issues affect them.

Municipal council representatives also attend the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention each fall, but Perrino said the convention involves much time discussing resolutions.

The UBCM also gives community representatives the opportunity to meet with provincial government ministers to raise specific issues affecting their communities.

The caucus will take on a format similar to a round table discussion, she said.

Mayor Dan Ashton of Penticton, a member of the steering committee for the caucus, said the event will allow discussion on common challenges.

“We are all looking to find new ways to make ends meet, we have challenges with funding and revenue and I’m looking forward to working hard with more than 80 of my colleagues from around BC to try to find workable solutions,” he said.

Mayor Dianne Watts of Surrey said it is important for mayors to discuss the way services are provided.

“The current model is broken and as mayors we need to meet to discuss a collaborative approach to reversing the unsustainable trend that most municipalities are facing, she said. “Municipalities provide the vast majority of the service in areas such as infrastructure while being given only eight cents out of every tax dollar to do it.”

The B.C. Mayors’ Caucus is structured after models across North America and Europe.